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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Plowing the Field

A farmer walked from one end of his field to the other, plowing with his ox. The rich, brown soil turned over, leaving clumps and clods on top of the earth. Several birds flew overhead. When they spotted the farmer in his fields, they knew that there would be a lot of worms and crickets and centipedes and spiders and other bugs in the turned over earth. Everything that had been resting peacefully beneath the ground was now exposed to the air and the birds. As the farmer finished a row of tilling, the birds flew down to gobble up the bugs.

A pelican flew by. He saw all the other birds down there and wondered what they were doing. He landed in the dirt and watched them eating wriggling spiders and long wiggly centipedes. He listened as a crow crunched a scarab beetle, and saw a dove gobbling down a fat juicy worm. They offered to share their find with the pelican. He said, "No thank you," and walked away.

The pelican didnít want to eat bugs. As he wandered away from the others, he saw something lying on top of the ground and it didnít look like a bug. "Ah, peanuts!" They too had been dug up. He bent his head over and ate one. "Mmm, tasses good," he said. He ate another and then another. Some of the other birds noticed the pelican and were curious as to what he was eating. They came towards him. Feeling rather greedy, he picked all the peanuts off the top of the ground and held them in his deep bill. "They can eat their bugs," he mumbled. "These peanuts are mine." He was feeling very greedy.

When the crow asked what was in his beak, he answered, "Oh, just a few bugs." Talking was hard as his bill was full of peanuts. "A few beetles, nothing special." The crow shrugged his wings and went off to find something else to eat.

The pelican knew he couldnít eat the peanuts there. The others would find out, so he flapped his powerful wings and flew into the air. The peanuts were heavy. His bill was so weighted down that he could hardly fly. He couldnít flap his wings hard enough to get up high into the air. Having no other choice, he dropped a few peanuts out of his bill. They fell to the ground below, landing in the field near the dove. The dove picked them up. "Hmmm, what are these? Peanuts," she said, gobbling them down. "Where did they come from?" she wondered.

His bill was still too heavy, so he dropped some more. They flew threw the air, landing on the ground next to a crocodile. The croc watched them splash in the water. "Whatís that?" he wondered. He swished his tail back and forth and moved through the river. He tasted one. "Yummy, peanuts. Where did they come from?" he wondered as he swam around looking for more.

The pelican could fly a little better, but still had trouble. He was concentrating so hard on his bill and not losing any more peanuts that he didnít see the tree. Crash! He flew right into it. He landed up side down. His bill opened wide and all the peanuts fell out. They landed on the ground inside a chicken coop. Dozens of chickens soon came around to see what had fallen from the tree and ate the peanuts all up as the pelican hung upside down.

Heíd lost every peanut and he was still feeling hungry. He climbed flew back towards the field. He decided that he needed to eat something, even a bug. He landed near the crow and picked up a spider. Its long legs were wiggling about. Hesitating for just a moment, he swallowed the bug. "Itís no peanut," he mumbled to himself, ĎBut itíll do."

As he was turning over dirt clods searching for another spider, he saw a peanut lying on the ground. Just one peanut, that was all, but he swallowed it. It tasted so delicious. He thought back and remembered seeing all the chickens eating his peanuts and smiled. Next time, heíd share. Maybe heíd get more than one that way. A spider ran over his webbed feet. He grabbed it and munched it down and then went off to look for more.

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