Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Write for the ACTION and/or ADVENTURE Genre (11/13/14)
TITLE: Leon of the North
By Yvonne Blake
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One wintery day, he got a postcard from his cousin Rico who lived in Abaco, a tropical land where they never see snow. The picture showed a coconut tree on a sandy beach. On the back, it said . . .
I wish you were here.
Leon looked and looked at that picture. He looked outside at the snow and the ice. He decided to go south this winter and visit his cousin Rico. He rode on a plane and train and a boat and finally came to Rico’s door.
“Welcome!” said Rico. “I am so happy you are here.”
Leon and Rico ran through the green grass and swam in the warm blue waters, but Leon got very hot in the sun. His head hurt and his nose got burnt. “Oh, Rico! I miss my cool snow and ice.”
“We have ice, but you don’t want it.”
“I do want it!”
“No, it’s too dangerous. To get ice, you must go in the big house to where the people eat. They put ice in their glasses of water.”
“I’m not afraid. My name is Leon. I’m as brave as a lion.”
“No, Leon. Come, take a nice siesta with me.”
So Rico and Leon swayed in their hammocks in the shade. In a moment, Rico was snoring, but Leon was still awake and still hot. The thought of some cool ice kept calling to him.
Leon tiptoed past the sleeping Rico and went to find some ice. The white plastered walls of the big house loomed high before him, but he found a small hole. He twitched his whiskers and found his way to where he smelled some interesting aromas. He climbed up and up until he found a feast of crumbs left by the people’s lunch. Then right before him stood a tall clear glass of ice.
He had to get some, but how? He jumped and pushed until the tall glass toppled, sending water and ice all over the table. A lady screamed and threw a rag at Leon. He tried to pick up an ice cube, but it was too heavy, so he pushed it off the table and scurried down the leg after it.
The lady screamed and whacked a broom at him. He dodged it left and right. Twice it came within a whisker’s length. Leon slid the ice across the floor and through the door – leaving a path of water behind him.
Now a man was chasing him too. He had a rolled paper in his hand and swatted at Leon whenever he came within arm’s reach. Poor Leon ran this way and that way, always sliding his precious ice cube along.
Soon the ice had melted so much that Leon could pick it up. He ran to the next room, looking for a hole to escape this noisy, wild house. The room was filled with balls and blocks and fuzzy animals. Leon saw a tiny car, just his size, at the top of a ramp. He quickly scrambled up to it and jumped in.
The car rolled down a steep track. Leon grabbed the side of the car with one paw and held his ice with the other. The track twisted left and right, and even looped upside down. Finally it stopped in the corner of the room – right near a hole in the wall . . . and a crouching tabby cat!
With not a second to spare, Leon slipped his melting ice in his pocket and squeezed through the hole. He found himself out in the leafy garden again. His heart pounded as he pattered back to where Rico was still snoring in his hammock. Leon was so hot, but now he had some ice.
He looked in his pocket. “It’s gone!”
Rico woke. “What’s gone?”
“My ice!” All Leon had left was a very damp pocket. “You can have your hammocks and beaches. I’m going home where I’ll have as much ice as I want.”
(adapted from Aesop’s fables)
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