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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Taste (07/15/10)

TITLE: The Rattlesnake Did It
By Lollie Hofer


Looking out on the desert terrain toward the mountains, Becca understood why the Maricopa Indians loved this land. With the Gila River cutting a path through the various shades of brown, she admired the beauty of the landscape.

Becca and four friends had chosen to spend their summer helping in the Gila River Indian Community. Their missionary idealism gave way to the reality that they were Caucasian teenagers from the suburbs with little understanding of the struggles faced by the Indian teenagers.

Walking back toward the orphanage compound where they were staying, Becca began to pray. "Lord, why are we here? We thought You sent us to make a difference, but Lord, there's a wall we can't penetrate. Show us how to become friends. And Lord, help us to reach Sue. She needs to know your love."

Sue was a leader among the Maricopa teenagers. She was physically and emotionally strong, but she was also distrustful and angry. She had been living at an orphanage since she was six years old. Her mother had committed suicide and her father disappeared soon afterwards.

Everyone was awake by the time Becca returned from her walk. It was going to be a busy day. They had invited the Indian youth to a bonfire, cookout and sing-along for the evening. No one had any hopes that more than just a couple teenagers would show.

Right after lunch Sue and some of her friends organized an impromptu basketball game. When Becca walked by the basketball court with chairs for the evening's activities, Sue called out a challenge to Becca, "Hey, white girl, wanna play?"

"I would but I have a lot of stuff to do before tonight," Becca said.

"Come on, one game. That's all I ask," Sue said while bouncing the ball.

"All right," Becca replied, laying the chairs in the dirt next to the court, "One game."

"First, you gotta eat some of this stuff," Sue challenged, handing Becca some meat.

Becca turned the meat over in her hands. "Uhm, what is it?"

"Rattlesnake," Sue answered.

"How bad could rattlesnake taste?" Becca said with a shrug. "Okay, but if I eat the rattlesnake, you have to come to the bonfire tonight."

"We'll see," Sue said without committing herself to the evening's events.

After taking a bite Becca began to cough while tears rolled down her face. "What's in this?" she sputtered, leaning over with her hands on her knees. "It's like the hottest thing I've ever tasted."

When the game began, it became apparent Sue was out to get Becca. The others stopped playing and watched the battle between the two girls. The crowd watching the game began to grow and soon there were two groups of folks rooting for their girl to win. Once the game reached 26-24 with Becca leading, Jared, an adult sponsor, pulled her aside for a brief talk.

"Careful, Becca," he said while handing her a towel to wipe her forehead. "You don't want to embarrass Sue on her home turf. Winning the game may hurt her pride and do more harm than good. She seems really agitated with you right now."

Becca shook her head back and forth, "I don't know about that. She's intense for sure, but I think she expects nothing but the best from me."

Back in the game, Sue and Becca continued their fierce rivalry. Eventually, Becca began to drag her feet. The ball felt like lead in her hands and she could no longer control her dribbling. Staggering, Becca fell. A second later Sue fell hard on the cement. Breathing heavily the girls lay still in their own sweat. Becca was declared the winner with the final score 48-44.

Getting on her knees, Becca crawled over to where Sue lay gasping. The girls looked at each other. A giggle escaped Becca, then both girls began laughing hysterically rolling on the ground.

"Hey, Becca," Sue finally wheezed out. "See you tonight at that thing you're having."

"Uh, sure," Becca said. "If I can get up from here, I'll see you there.

"You know, I'm not going because you won the game," Sue smiled.

"Oh?" Becca said with raised eyebrows.

"Yeah, it was eating the rattlesnake. Man, you saved me. My friends were daring me to eat it when you came along. That stuff tastes bad. No way I would've eaten it. You must really be desperate for us to go."

"Oh," Becca responded, another giggle ready to explode from deep within her throat.

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This article has been read 591 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Edy T Johnson 07/22/10
This is a perfect story. If it doesn't win, I'll have to eat rattlesnake---just kidding! I wouldn't dare! But, I do love everything about your writing. I'm intrigued to want more---how about an adventure novel for teenage girls (to rival Nancy Drew)? :)
Virgil Youngblood 07/22/10
A fitting title for an on topic story and an enjoyable read. Good job.
Linda Germain 07/23/10
Creative and effective approach to the topic. There is a teen audience out there who would love this! (When I first read the title I thought, "It would certainly do it for me.") :0) Nicely written.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/24/10
This is another wonderful story with some much action packed in 750 words. It seems there have been many stories that today's youth and many adults as well need to read, yours is high on this list.
Laury Hubrich 07/25/10
I like this story. Love the ending and the competition between the girls.
Sarah Elisabeth 07/25/10
Great story! Wow, there is seriously a movement going on with Native Americans and reconciliation, something God has privileged my mom and I to be a part of.

I'd love to see Becca's character expanded even more, I like her :-)
AnneRene' Capp07/25/10
Hats off to Becca. The pace of this was great and I loved the accomplished feel good ending. I felt like I was Becca! :)
Christina Banks 07/26/10
You captured these characters so well! I'm still shuddering about the snake. I wouldn't have tried it!
Colin Swann07/27/10
I really enjoyed reading this interesting story. Your writing is so readable - wonderful! Colin
Shirley McClay 07/28/10
Loved Becca! and that was an awesome ending. I'm not sure that I would have tasted the rattlesnake. Yuck.
Beth LaBuff 07/28/10
I love your story! I could see the desert and the distrustful teenagers. We live near several reservations and have contact with some of the native families. You were brave to eat the rattlesnake. :)
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/28/10
Great story with a great message. Really well done.
Edmond Ng 07/28/10
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story. It reminds us so much of what we must do in order to win the trust of people we hope to bring to the Lord. Like writing, evangelism is not all about 'tell' but about 'show'. We need to show how much we love the Lord to be willing to go the extra mile and not tell people to come for a gospel event or even about the Christian faith. It is about living Christ out in our lives.

Thank you for sharing this story. Excellent writing.