Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write something suitable for CHILDREN (05/31/07)
TITLE: "Nothing" ... All Day Long
By Leigh MacKelvey
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Down in the valley, tumbling across the land in messy shambles were the shacks of Slugabed. The Sluggards lived lazily and their town was a pitiful sight to behold.
“Pitiful? How so?,” asked Bob Bummer, Slugabed’s Mayor. “Why, we Sluggards take pride in our sleepy town. Look around, look around! I ask you ... where else does a Slug-Fest take place every day?”
Sam Slouch and Norman Ne’er-Do-Well took a break from twiddling their thumbs to support the Mayor by singing the Slugabed Town Anthem.
We are the Sluggards,
the shiftless Sluggards.
We do as little
as we can.
And if you ask us
to lift a finger,
We’ll tell you ...
Talk to the Hand!
Don’t bust our bubble,
don’t cause us trouble
We want to
be left alone.
We don’t like working
So quit your smirking,
Refrain from counting
our lazy bones.
All summer the Sluggards slouched in their lawn chairs and lounged in the sun sipping soda. The ants burst into brisk bustling and stored their food for winter. They had their fun in the sun, but they divided their weekend BBQs with punching the clock from nine to five on weekdays. Skillville’s Mayor, Laboring Larry, knew a busy ant was a happy ant. Every morning at eight o’clock, he hopped a ride with the Sheriff and blew his megaphone throughout the town with the Town Ant Chant:
Work, work, work,
then play, play, play
Makes happy, happy days.
Go Skillsville, Go Skillsville
As summer began to end, Mayor Larry peered down the valley into the town of Slugabed.
Pizza boxes, soda cans, cookie crumbles, globs of bubble gum and mounds of newspapers piled high across the lawns. There was no trash pick-up in Slugabed. Nobody did anything. The mayor thought it would be a good gesture to make a visit and remind the Sluggards that winter was coming.
“If I might be so bold, I question how you will survive the winter since you have done nothing all summer.”
We cannot move
up off our chairs,
our muscles need
a great repair.
All summer long we
just sucked air.
We don’t do nothing.
“Ah, em .. ANYTHING, you don’t do ANYTHING.” The Mayor had earned and A + in English.
“Yep, that’s what we said. We don’t do nothing.”
I suppose, then, you don’t attend school either.”
Are you a fool?
We don’t do school.
We don’t do nothing.
“ANYTHING! You don’t do ANYTHING.”
“You got that right, we don’t do nothing.”
our time is spent in
We chill all day, then take a nap.
And when we need a
we fold our hands and
crack our knuckles.
We don’t do nothing.
“ANYTHING.,” said the Mayor. He gave up and started home. Before going too far, he looked back.
“Take a lesson from the ants, you Sluggards. How long will you lie there? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest ... and poverty will come on you like a bandit." *
Summer soon ended and winter came on strong. It rained. The wind blew. The storms stewed. The sky snowed and it was cold. Yet the ants in Skillsville had hearty dinners at night and warm bread in the mornings. They were comfy by their fireplaces.
Everything was not so fine in Slugabed. The Sluggards shivered. They shook. They were so cold they couldn’t sleep. All night you could hear them weep. Their bellies were empty, their mouths had no smiles. Their tummies were angry and did nothing but growl.
Mayor Larry felt sorry for the Sluggards. He wrapped himself up in his furry coat, pulled on his snow boots and put on his electric mittens. He took a couple of extra electric mittens and some warm bread for the Sluggards.
Mayor Larry, only an ant, could not help but say I told you so.
“ Aha, I could just imagine ... you did nothing and now ... a famine! Hmmph ... I hope you learned something. Next summer you will know better than to sit around and do nothing.”
“Why thank you for the food and you’re so right, pal. We cetainly learned our lesson. Next summer, we won’t do ANYTHING.”
*Proverbs 6: 6-11
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