"1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10! Here I come; ready or not!"
shouted Blaine the beetle. He moved away from the ripe red tomato he had
been leaning against as he counted. He looked around the vegetable garden,
but couldnít see any of his friends. They were hiding in good places, and
he was going to have a hard time finding them.
He walked over to where the string beans grew. He
looked up at each plant, carefully examining the long, slender, green bean
pods that were dangling, hidden among the leaves. Some of the pods were
over six inches long. When he got to the last string bean plant, he
noticed that one of the pods had odd bumps on it. The bumps looked like
eyes, so he moved in for a closer look. That was no string bean! It was
Whitley the worm. "1,2,3 on Whitley," Blaine the beetle called out, then
climbed up the stem to tag Whitley out.
Whitley opened her eyes and looked down. "Oh dear. Iíve
been caught," she said. She curled herself up, climbed on to the branch
and then went down the stem to the rich, chocolate brown dirt below.
"You had me fooled, Whitley," said Blaine. "At first I
thought you were a string bean, but now Iíve caught you. Do you want to
come with me and help me find the others?" he asked.
Whitley said sheíd like to help, so the two continued
their game of hide and seek. They headed towards the squash. They had to
climb over thick vines with huge leaves growing from them. "Look at that
yellow squash," Blaine said. "Iíve never seen a squash with black stripes
before," he added.
Whitley looked over at the squash and noticed the black
spots. "What are those black stripes?" she asked.
Blaine looked over at it quizzically, then walked
towards it. He stopped and stared at it for a while. Then, excited, the
cried out, "Itís Bonnie bee! 1,2,3 on Bonnie!" He ran over to the squash
and tagged her out. Bonnie walked away from the squash plant and joined
Blaine, and Whitley . "That was a good hiding place," said Blaine.
"I didnít know it was you," added Whitley.
Bonnie Bee buzzed, "I thought it was a good place. I
canít believe you found me so quickly." She fluttered her wings to make
sure they were still working as she spoke.
"Would you like to come and help us find the others?"
"I would love that! Buzzzzzzzz!" Bonnie answered.
The three bugs walked through the rich, dark brown soil
to search for their other friends. "Letís go to the lettuce patch. Iíll
bet that Keith, the potato bug, or Kristen, the lady bug, are hiding near
there!" suggested Blaine. The bugs agreed, and headed towards the lettuce
heads, passing through rows of carrots, radishes, and cabbages.
After a long search, they still couldnít find their
friends. "Letís try the peas, Buzzzzzzzzz," Bonnie said.
They went over to the rows of pea pods that were
clinging to the long curly vines. They were filled with plump, round,
green peas. "Iím hungry," said Whitley. "Iím going to pick a pod and have
a snack." She reached up and pulled a pod off of the vine and opened it
up. Inside were six green peas and one gray one. "Oh yuck. A gray pea,"
she said distastefully.
Bonnie and Blaine went over to see. "Wait a minute.
This isnít a pea, Whitley. Itís Keith, the potato bug. 1,2,3 on Keith," he
called and tagged him out.
The gray Ďpeaí unrolled and smiled at his friends.
"That was a great place to hide," Whitley laughed. "Weíd have never found
you, if I hadnít been so hungry." She picked up one of the good peas and
gobbled it down.
"Letís go find Kristen the lady bug now. Sheís the last
one to find. Do you want to come with us, Keith?" asked Blaine.
"Iíd love to help you," he replied, then joined the
group. Soon Blaine, Whitley, Bonnie, and Keith were walking along, in
search of Kristen.
"You know, sheís red. Maybe we should check all the red
veggies and fruits first," suggested Keith. Agreeing, the group went to
the red bell peppers. They looked at each one carefully, but couldnít find
her. They then headed towards the sugar beets, but couldnít find her there
either. They checked the ripe red tomatoes, again, but no Kristen. They
carefully crawled through the prickly raspberry bushes; no Kristen. The
last red fruit were the strawberries in the patch.
"This is it. She must be here. Letís all spread out and
try to find her," ordered Blaine.
The four bugs went through the strawberry patch.
Suddenly they heard, "I found her! I found her! I found Kristen, the lady
bug!" Whitley called. Bonnie, Keith, and Blaine ran quickly. There was
Whitley, among a cluster of giant, juicy, ripe, red strawberries. Little
white flowers blossomed all around them, giving the air a sweet scent.
"There she is!" Whitley told them, pointing to a strawberry.
There sat Kristen ladybug, her black polka dot wings
folded up close to her body. "1,2,3 on Kristen," shouted Blaine. He
climbed on top of the strawberry and tagged her out.
She flew down and landed by the others. "That was fun!"
"It was a lot of fun," added Bonnie. "Can we play this
again, another time?"
Whitley and Blaine smiled and then he said, "Why sure
we can; maybe tomorrow. But one of you have to be IT!"
They all agreed to meet at the radishes the next day. Each bug went
home. That night they all dreamed about how much fun theyíd had that day,
and about where they were going to hide tomorrow.