Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write something suitable for CHILDREN (05/31/07)
TITLE: Some Roll UP Mountains
By Tom Yarbrough
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Once there blew upon the scene a little, chubby boy ball. He was born of parents who loved him. He always displayed an air of happiness.
For a long while, life was great. The little chubby ball kept rolling around, flexing his muscles, learning his round exterior. Since he was so young, he never really considered what kept him from going flat on the inside. He only experienced bad moments when he noticed other boys growing faster than he did. Some even bounced higher and expanded their exteriors larger than his. “Someday,” he thought, “I’ll grow large and be able to roll through the neighborhood.”
Then one day truly bad news came his way. The family was splitting up and each member would have to journey through the neighborhood alone. The little ball shook when he heard the news. He was the youngest and not ready. He was afraid no one would want a small chubby ball in the neighborhood. Also, he thought funny ideas, like rolling up a mountain. Everyone told him balls roll down mountains, and besides there were no mountains in the neighborhood to test his idea. He ached, wishing his parents would just wait awhile before they split up.
Soon, the little ball found himself out in the streets all alone. “Well,” he thought, “it doesn’t matter; I’ll make the best of it. Maybe I can find someone to tell me why I’m so round.”
Rolling along one day, the little ball encountered a small dog, sniffing a fireplug. “Good morning, kind sir,” said the ball.
“What good morning, it’s already past noon?” growled the dog.
“I was just trying to be polite,” answered the ball timidly.
“Uh”, the little ball stuttered, “Do you know why I don’t go flat? I mean . . . er . . . you seem to be wise and I was just wondering if you could tell me why I’m so round. Your shape is different and you can do many things I can’t. I bet you could even roll...or whatever you do . . . up a mountain.”
The dog cocked his head, “I’m too busy checking out bushes, trees, and fireplugs. Roll along now. You’re mixing up my smell.”
The chubby ball moved along slowly and suddenly came upon two humans, throwing what looked like one of his own kind, except it was shaped more like an egg.
Plop! The egg shaped ball came waddling in the path of chubby ball.
“Are you one of my kin?” asked the chubby ball.
“I’m a football”, roared the strange ball, scaring the chubby ball.
Shaking, he said, “But sir, you aren’t shaped like a foot. You do roll funny.”
“I am a special ball and I get my name because I am made for the foot of a human. Humans can kick me and I twist round through the air like a bullet. Or, I can float end over end . . . the world has a very special view when floating end over end.”
“Do you ever go flat?” asked chubby.
“Only when I’m left in the closet for awhile. But then, the humans stick a needle
in me and . . . . whoosh . . . I’m up again.”
“Gosh . . . you are special. Do you know why I don’t go flat?”
“Maybe”, replied the football, “it’s got something to do with how you’re made. The Great Being of the universe made us different, so it’s ok.”
The little chubby ball sighed and slowly slipped away. He wondered why he felt so alone. Why couldn’t he be like others, know answers and be special?
Some time passed and one day he sighted another round ball lying in a front yard. He felt joy as he rushed over to discover a girl ball.
“Please don’t think me rude”, said chubby, “but your roundness is lovely.”
“You’re not so bad yourself,” answered the girl.
“Do you care if I ask you some questions?” said the boy.
“Ask anything you want, Your Roundness”, said the girl.
. He couldn’t help but feel a new joy. Both boy and girl pledged to always be friends.
One day, as they rolled along through new discovered yards, the boy strained to remember some question he’d forgotten and finally asked: “Why don’t I go flat?”
The girl responded with a smile: “Let’s go roll up a mountain.”
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