Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hair (07/04/19)
TITLE: Harry the Hare
By Marlene Custer
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Dread washed over him anew when Benji hopped over to view the poster. A grin crossed Benji’s face. “You feel like losing again, Hairy Harry?”
Harry looked down, blinking back tears that threatened to form and run down his cheeks. Not only did Beni taunt him about being slow, he taunted him for having longer hair than most of the other hares. With shoulders drooping, Harry turned to go home. His best friend Howie was waiting for him. Now Howie was a hound, but contrary to nature, he never did anything to harm Harry. They often played hide and seek together, and shared their hopes and fears.
“You look rather down this afternoon,” Howie consoled him.
Howie meandered closer to Harry and laid down. His long ears drooped as Harry shared. “The End of Year Race is coming up and I want to win, but Benji is always faster. It seems my long hair slows me down.”
Howie and Harry sat in silence together, then Howie suggested, “Let’s practice running together every day after school until the race.”
And that is what they did. As soon as school was out Howie and Harry ran and ran. When supper time came, they limped home panting, with muscles aching.
Finally the day of the race arrived. Nervous contestants gathered at the starting line. Parents and friends gathered along the sidelines. Harry did not see Howie. He really didn’t expect him to be there. Hounds are usually not welcome at hare events.
Finally, the starting signal was given. Two runners began pulling ahead. Benji was edging ahead of Harry by almost a length. The crowd watched expectantly. One spectator turned to his friend, “Looks like Benji has it again.”
Just then Howie the Hound emerged from the bushes and sprinted across the field. An audible gasp rose from the crowd. Was he going to grab one of the hares right before their eyes? A hushed silence of fear fell over the crowd.
Howie raced towards Harry. As Harry felt Howie’s hot breath on his heels, his heart began to pound and a spurt of adrenaline coursed through his body. Harry edged ahead of Benji. Then, Howie turned and raced from the field. A sense of relief fell over the spectators. Their silence turned to exuberant hopping and shouting as Harry and Benji, crossed the finish line!
The judges huddled together. Photo finish pictures would have to be checked. Soon their decision was announced. The yearly race had a new winner, and it was Harry!
Harry the hairy hare had won by a hair!
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