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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Body Language (11/25/10)

TITLE: Equality in the Animal World
By Colin Swann


(A children's story)

Rumour was spreading throughout the animal kingdom that a number of male and female species were challenging King Ryan the Lion for the top spot in the animal kingdom.

Ancient Wisdom was to be administered by Allie the Owl and her decision would be final. She posted the notice of a competition on the edge of the Great Clearing of the forest.

A competition for a new anointing
the King of the Beasts
will be on the morning after the
next full moon in the Great Clearing

Signed ALLIE

A great crowd had come to witness the pompous displays and the regal qualities of the contestants. They all knew that Allie the Owl would be fair in declaring the winner who would then become the new crown bearer.

Ally appointed Terrie the Tortoise to be the applause-meter.

First in the arena to display his regal splendour was Gerald the Giraffe. His heart and head swelled with pride as he strutted before the motley throng. He stopped by a pride of lions, polished his left hind hoof on a clump of grass, displayed it to the crowd and then kicked it out with lightning speed just missing a lion's nose. The lion jumped, the crowd thumped and the tortoise bumped. Out popped her head before quickly withdrawing it. A fair show!

Next to be called was Ellie the Elephant who was an enormous creature. She stomped and thumped with her tree-trunk legs and bucket feet - so much so that coconuts fell from nearby trees a mighty feat of power. Terrie had a terrified look on her face as she popped out of her shell and quickly back in again. Swishing her trunk around Ellie knocked down several trees on the edge of the clearing. Then she did the mightiest trump making all the forest vegetation shake and tremble. The crowd cheered but poor Terrie was too afraid to make a second entrance. This female elephant was a strong competitor indeed!

Ronald Rhino was next up. He trotted around the edge of the arena with his horn held high and nostrils snorting angrily. When he stopped and faced the crowds they scattered before his great might. He lowered his horned head and vigorously pawed the ground sending grass sods flying. One knocked down a monkey sitting at the top of the tallest tree. All the animals cheered before Ronald again lifted his horn and stuck his enormous chest out - a true sign of a victor. The jolly noise caused Terrie to peep out twice to see what was happening. Another serious competitor!

Hettie the Hippo came on the scene to loud cheering. She was already revered for her river power over their arch enemy the crocodile. She kept them safe on their drinking visits to the great river. Her clumsy movements were anything but regal. She had the most ferocious long teeth and the biggest mouth of all the animals. She opened it wide and the spectators were agog at a mouth that could have swallowed most of them in one go. Again they hooted and howled out their approval of their beloved protector. Even Terrie stayed out of her shell and smiled. All would be happy for Hettie to be their Queen!

Suddenly, as if appearing from nowhere entered Ryan the reigning king and his glory filled the whole arena - the crowd being awestruck by his magnificence. He did not have to strut or pontificate; his whole demeanour was kingly. There was a stunned silence amongst the animals as he and his mate stood before them. His mane mantled him like a glory crown. All other contestants withdrew at this point.

Allie the Owl moved to the anointing platform with the crown. Ancient Wisdom declared it must fit perfectly the head of any reigning monarch.

Gerald the Giraffe was rejected because his horns got in the way of the crown - Ellie the Elephant's ears caused it to keep slipping off - Ronald Rhino couldn't stand it hindering his charging position - it restricted Hettie the Hippo's yawning and a great gasp went up because it no longer fitted Ryan the Lion's head because his mane had grown so bushy.

Ryan's mate Lena the Lioness was the only other animal standing in the clearing the crown fitted perfectly she was crowned the Empress Lioness over the entire animal world.

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This article has been read 596 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Cheryl Harrison12/03/10
Gerald the Giraffe was rejected because his horns got in the way of the crown - Ellie the Elephant's ears caused it to keep slipping off - Ronald Rhino couldn't stand it hindering his charging position - it restricted Hettie the Hippo's yawning and a great gasp went up because it no longer fitted Ryan the Lion's head because his mane had grown so bushy.

Loved it!
Lollie Hofer12/03/10
What a fun story...good use of this week's topic. Good, strong imagery. Well done.
Allison Egley 12/03/10
Oh, I must say, I've always loved children's stories, you yours didn't disappoint! Great job with this one.

I'm guessing word count may have gotten the best of you, but I would have liked to have had some indication about the lioness, earlier in the story, and some more description about her. Kids like a story where they can guess what the ending is, and not mentioning the winning character until the very end may seem "unfair" to kids. Just my opinion. :)

Overall, a great story.
Barbara Lynn Culler12/04/10
Cute story! Loved the "Great Arena". I could visualize the entire event as I read the tale.
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/04/10
This fun children's story would be such fun to tell with all the gestures used. I can see a circle of children seated on the floor in a circle completely engrossed in what will happen next.
Gregory Kane12/04/10
A fun story with a very different take on body language. Methinks Ryan was hard done by!
Troy Manning12/04/10
Very engaging writing! I agree that foreshadowing Lena would have made for a more satisfying conclusion. Enjoyable tale for both kids & adults. :)
Noel Mitaxa 12/05/10
Good fun all the way through, and I really enjoyed how you have taken such an i(menagerie)ative approach.
Catrina Bradley 12/05/10
I really like this story, especially the descriptions of the lions. You made it clear that they didn't need to show off to prove who the King is. I felt like I was reading about Jesus entering after a bunch of pretenders to the throne had strutted their stuff. :)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/05/10
This is a cute charming story. I can easily picture the pictures.
Rachel Phelps12/06/10
What fun! The ending felt a little rushed, but I loved this children's story. Well done.
Edmond Ng 12/07/10
A very interesting read with an unexpected ending, where none of the contenders get the crown in the end.
Henry Clemmons12/07/10
Very well written and interesting. I enjoyed the descriptions of the animals and the regalness of the lions. Very symbolic. So I gather in my small mind the female lion was the Birde of Christ? At any rate, great food for thought and an enjoyable read.
Melanie Kerr 12/07/10
Good story. For a children's story I thought that some of the vocabulary was challenging. It couldn't be a story that they could read and understand for themselves.
Amanda Brogan12/07/10
"Kingdom Challenge" would also be a great title for this story. :)

I like how you showed that the prideful animals had no place as king or queen. That's a great lesson for children and adults.

And after that entrance by the lion I was most surprised at the ending!

Very well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/09/10
Congratulations for placing 15th in your level!