Rupert, the furry brown otter, threw
his ball high into the air and ran to catch it. He was having so much fun
trying to throw it higher than the treetops. One time he threw the blue
ball so high that he couldnít see it and when it fell to the ground, he
didnít know where it landed. "Whereís my blue ball?" He scratched his
head. "Hmm, I wonder where it went?"
He looked in the tall green grass,
parting it with his paws. "Itís not here." He looked behind a pile of
dirty brown rocks. "Itís not here either." Just then a bird landed on one
of the rocks. "Red bird, have you seen my blue ball?"
"TWEET! TWEET! TWEET! No, I havenít
seen it," the bird replied. "Did you look behind those bright yellow
daffodils and orange tulips?"
"Not yet. Iíll go and do that right
now," Rupert said. He ran over to the flowers and pushed them to the side.
"My ballís not here either. I wonder where it went?"
He was down on his hands and knees,
crawling around in the leaves when he spotted a spider sitting on a stone.
"Black spider, have you seen my blue ball?"
The spider wriggled its body back
and forth. "No, Iíve not seen your blue ball. Have you looked under the
rose bush over there?"
Rupert looked at the roses. "No, I
didnít look there yet. Iíll go and do that right now." He ran over to the
rose bush. It was covered with fragrant pink flowers. Rupert tried to
crawl under it. "Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! This rose bush has sharp thorns!" He
pulled the thorns out of his fur and sat on the ground. "My blue ball
isnít under the bush. I wonder where it is?"
He stood up, brushed the dirt from
his fur and walked down to the pond. There were fish swimming about in it.
"Fish, have you seen my blue ball?" he asked.
Two fish came out of the water,
blowing bubbles. "Weíve not seen your blue ball. It didnít land in the
water. If it had, weíd have heard it splash. Did you look in the pile of
leaves at the bottom of the oak tree?"
"No, I didnít look there. Iíll go
and do that right now," Rupert said and ran to the pile of leaves. He
lifted some of them up and tossed them into the air. They fluttered down
to the ground. "My blue ball isnít here either. I wonder where it is?" He
stood, rubbing his chin, and looked up into the tree. "There it is!
Thereís my blue ball. Itís stuck between two branches of the tree."
Otters canít climb trees, so Rupert
didnít know how he could get his blue ball. It was too high for him to
reach. "I have an idea." He ran back to the rocks. "Red bird, would you
fly up to the branches of the oak tree and knock my blue ball down? Itís
"TWEET! TWEET! TWEET! Iíll do that
for you," the red bird answered. She flapped her wings and flew into the
branches of the oak tree. It was hard for Rupert to see her because of all
the green leaves. "Are you ready to catch it?" she called down.
Rupert opened his arms. "Iím ready."
The red bird pecked the ball with her beak and knocked it out of the
branches. It came tumbling down into Rupertís arms. "Caught it! Iím glad
to have my blue ball back."
"TWEET! TWEET! TWEET! From now on,
donít throw your ball so high or youíll lose it again," the red bird
Rupert ran down to the pile of
stones and showed the black spider that heíd found his blue ball. He ran
to the pond and showed the fish that heíd found it too, and then he spent
the rest of the day throwing it into the air and catching it. He didnít
throw it quite so high ever again.