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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Will You Please Get a Move on!

All the insects that lived in the old oak tree spent their days running up and down the bark, nibbling on tiny seeds and smaller bugs. They ran fast so they could find as much to eat as possible. The only bug that didn't run fast was Elmer. His long, fat body didn't want to move fast. Elmer was an inchworm and all inchworms move slow.

One morning after a heavy rainfall, the tree bugs came out. All sorts of seeds and delicious things had been tossed into the air during the storm and landed on the tree. “It's time for a feast,” shouted the bugs and off they went.

Randy, the ant, rushed up and down the branches, going into every crevice in search of food.

“Randy, if you go to the lowest branch, there are all sorts of seeds and nuts to eat. You'd better hurry though. A lot of other ants and bugs are there already,” another ant said.

Randy nodded and ran down the tree to the lowest branch. “Ah ha! I'm here. Now all I have to do is run across it to the end and I'll find seeds and nuts.” The ant dashed across the bark. “What's that up ahead? It looks like...oh no, it's Elmer.”

Elmer inched his way along the branch. “Today is a pretty day. The sun is out and my hairs are dry. I'm in no hurry today.” He grinned as he watched the birds fly in and out of the tree. Several butterflies fluttered past. “What pretty butterflies.”

Randy tried to pass Elmer, but the inchworm was so fat that he took up the whole width of the branch. “Hurry up, Elmer. I must get to the end of the branch. Move out of the way.”

Elmer lifted his head and looked back. “Randy, isn't it a pretty day?”

“Yes, yes, yes. It's pretty, now get out of my way.” Randy ran to the left, but couldn't pass. He ran to the right, but still couldn't pass. “Elmer, will you please get a move on. I'm in a hurry and I'm hungry.”

Elmer lifted his head again. “I'm not in a hurry today, Randy.”

“Well, I am!” The ant crawled up on top of the inchworm, ran through its prickly hairs and down over Elmer's face to the other side. “There! You have a nice day, Elmer.”

The ant ran to the end of the branch. “Where is everyone? Where are the seeds? Where are the nuts? There's nothing here.”

A sleeping beetle woke up. “What's all the noise?”

“Where's all the nuts and seeds? Someone told me it was down here on the lower branch,” Randy said.

“You've got the wrong branch. It's the lowest branch on the other side of the tree. I just got back. I had a feast! Never have I seen so many seeds. You'd better hurry though. There's quite a crowd.” The beetle lay back down and shut its eyes.

Randy turned to run the other way and saw Elmer. “Oh no! How am I ever going to get past that inchworm this time.”

Elmer stopped in front of Randy. “I came here to eat these leaves. The biggest, best leaves are down here at the bottom of the tree.” The inchworm nibbled and as he ate, he grew fatter and fatter.

“I'll never get by now,” the ant sighed.

“Have some leaf,” Elmer said.

With no choice, the ant sat on the branch next to Elmer and ate the leaf. “Next time, I'm going to ask which branch before I rush off.” And he took another bite.

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