Monday, May 7, 2007

Chapter Twenty: The Lit Snub

"Today we have a very special guest for you all," Todd said as eight-year-old Daniel Garabedian strode to the front of the room. "With permission from his mother, Daniel is going to read today's story, which he wrote himself."

"Thank you, Todd," Daniel said politely. "My story is called The Ex-Kangaroo."


Okay, so one time, there was a kangaroo in Australia. That's where kangaroos live. So he was living in the Outback with his family. But when he grew up, he didn't want to live in Australia anymore. And he didn't want to be a kangaroo.

Okay, so he went to Africa and tried to be a hippopotamus, but they didn't like him being a hippopotamus. He went to the watering hole and joined the other hippos in the water. But the other hippos said they were there first, and he didn't belong there with them. Even though the hippos had pushed out the zebras from the same watering hole no too long ago.

They wanted to build a wall made of mud and sticks to keep the ex-kangaroo out, but the other animals said that wasn't nice. The lion, king of Africa, also wanted to keep the ex-kangaroo out. He felt threatened by the ex-kangaroo. He thought the other animals might think his hopping was cooler than the lion's roar and mane.

There was a big fight between all the animals over whether the ex-kangaroo should be allowed to live with the hippos.

"He wants to become a hippo," some said. "He wants to join them, not take away the watering hole all for himself."

While others said, "No, soon more ex-kangaroos will come, and they will take over the Serengeti. We have to protect what's our. Build the wall!"

The ex-kangaroo was sad, but he didn't want to go home. There was nothing to eat in the Outback. Africa had so much more food. He knew he could make friends, he just had to show them he could be trusted.

He tried bringing the hippos food, taking no food for himself. The hippos just ate it all and ignored him. He tried helping the hippos, doing all the tough work, while they just watched, but they never said thank you.

Finally, he gave up.

"What do you want from me? I just want to live here and be happy."

"Find your own watering hole!" the hippos said.

So the ex-kangaroo left the watering hole and ventured out to find another place to live. Eventually he found a watering hole on the other side of the big hill with other animals, some ex-kangaroos, an ex-dingo, an ex-panda, even a few former parrots.

This watering hole was in a darker, more dangerous part of the serengeti. There were hyenas all around, waiting to catch an animal who let his guard down. There was less water, and it was murkier.

The ex-kangaroo was happy he found a home. These animals welcomed him, the the ex-kangaroos, ex-dingos, ex-pandas and former parrots often fought amongst themselves.

He wondered a lot if he would ever get to live with the hippos in that nice watering hole on the other side of the big hill.

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