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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
A Change of Scenery


Laurence, the big highland bull, ripped a few leaves off a rowan tree with his strong teeth and then put the leaves into his mouth, chomping them hungrily. He stood, munching away, his eyes wandering around the landscape. He gazed up at the azure sky, then over to a herd of Black Angus cows standing around a small, but deep pond, each fighting for a spot to get a drink. He turned his head and looked in the other direction. He saw a flock of sheep, lazily lying in the tall grasses. A few foxes ran past them, but none of the sheep seemed to care; it was a nice, warm day and they were just too comfortable. None of the other animals ever bothered Laurence. He was so big that none of them dared to get in his way.

The sun was warm and beating down on Laurenceís long, reddish-brown hair. He began to feel bored. He wanted to do something different. He wanted to see something different. He looked past the rowan tree and then walked towards the rising sun. He walked and walked and walked, all day long. The tall grasses felt soft under his heavy feet. He enjoyed the way they swayed back and forth in the gentle breeze.

By the time the sun was ready to set that night, Laurence found himself at the banks of a great river. It was very wide and the deep blue water was flowing fast. He stuck his head in and gathered water. He then raised his head and sprayed the water up high into the air. It fell all over his body. It felt refreshing to the tired bull. He gulped down gallons or water and walked into the river until it was up to his neck. It felt so good. He stood, enjoying the coolness as the river swirled around his big hairy body, washing all the dirt and dust off.

A Change of Scenery

He looked all around him. There were tall reeds lining the banks, many waterfowl flying overhead and some bobbing up and down on the gentle waves. Laurence smiled. He knew that he was going to like it here. The trees lining the river were filled with bright, colorful flowers. He felt very happy. He decided that he just might stay at the river for a while. Feeling content, he closed his eyes and fell asleep. The midnight sky was filled with stars and a bright, glowing moon.

Laurence woke up to some grunting noises behind him. He turned around. There were several wild pigs standing in the mud. They dropped into the mucky mess and started rolling around in it. They were soon covered with thick black mud. Laurence couldnít even tell what color the hair on their bodies was. There was so much mud. Suddenly he started laughing. What a sight that was to see all those dirty pigs. He filled his mouth up with water and blew it onto the wild pigs. The mud washed off of them. The pigs werenít happy. They snorted and grunted angrily and ran off into the bushes. Laurence laughed as they disappeared from his view.

As he followed the running pigs with his eyes, he noticed something dark olive green moving in the reeds. He climbed out of the river and moved towards the bank. He saw that it was a tortoise. It was yawning. Laurence thought the tortoise looked funny when it pulled its head into its shell.

He continued up the bank. He passed a flowering rhododendron tree and several oak trees. He reached up and ripped a few petals off the flowers trees. He didnít like the taste of them. His tummy started to rumble. He was beginning to get hungry. What was he going to eat? He found a few elm trees. He ate some of the leaves and enjoyed the taste. He ripped off some more and some more until there was none left on the empty branches. Laurence was still hungry. He couldnít see any more elms and wondered what he was going to eat now.

He stomped along the banks of the river a little further. There were several fish in the river, swimming around. He stopped and watched them for a little while. Some of them were nibbling on the vegetation growing on the bottom of the river. Their mouths opened wide and they gulped water. Laurence didnít think heíd like river plants. He stuck his head down to the river bottom and yanked a few plants off. He lifted them to his mouth and munched them down. He didnít like them at all.

He walked on. All day long he looked for food but found nothing. That night when he lay down to sleep, his tummy growled and groaned with hunger.

The next morning, after the sun had risen over the horizon, Laurence was starving. His tummy was making loud hungry noises. He decided that even though it was boring where he lived, at least he had food. He went down to the river and drank a few gallons of water, then headed back home. He found a few leaves to nibble on during his journey.

It took him all day to get there. The first thing he did was go to the biggest rowan tree and rip some tender leaves and orange-red berries off. Yummy; they were delicious. He munched and chomped until he was full. He looked around him. He smiled when he saw the Angus cows at the pond hole. He smiled when he saw the flock of sheep, some grouse and pheasant and a few fox. He was home, and he actually felt happy and content, and very glad to be back where he belonged.


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