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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Marib peeled the yellow skin back, took the fleshy banana out, and tossed the peel to the ground. He gobbled the banana down quickly. From where the monkey sat in the leaves of the tree, he could watch everything going on around him.

Marib could see the goats running by, bleating and butting each other with their short, pointed horns. He was glad he wasnít a goat. They canít climb trees and they donít have long tails.

He saw the camels grazing, nibbling on acacia trees, chewing away. They had long, slimy tongues, big humps, and wiry fur. Marib was glad he wasnít a camel. His fur was dark brown, soft, and clean. Bananas tasted much better than prickly acacia trees.

Marib watched the ants marching along the dusty ground, the bees flying back and forth from flower to hive, and the butterflies, fluttering from the carnations, to the iris, to the tulips, and then to the bougainvilleas.

It was a busy life down on the ground. He was glad he lived in the trees, and especially glad he could swing from branch to branch of all the trees. If he felt like eating a banana, he went and got one. If he felt like eating a date, all he had to do was swing over to the palm tree, climb up the long trunk, and pull down as many dates as he wanted. If he felt like eating a pomegranate or fig, all he had to do was hold onto the branches and leaves and swing over.

One morning Marib felt the wind blowing. He heard the leaves rustling and smelled dampness in the air. He climbed up to the top of the banana palm and looked around. He could see small branches and pieces of paper blowing around. He felt the tree start to move back and forth and knew a storm was nearing. Then the rain came. It pelted down on his fur. Marib pulled some of the large green palm leaves over himself, using them as an umbrella. It rained, and rained, and rained, all day long.

Marib didnít get wet as he was protected, but the animals on the ground were having a hard time. He watched the ants, being carried away by the water, their underground nests destroyed. He saw the beehive disintegrating as the raindrops pounded its delicate skin to pieces. He felt very sad as he watched the flower petals beaten and torn. What would the butterflies do?

The goats slipped in the mud, as they ran about, not sure where to go. Some hid under tree branches, but the ground still turned to mushy goo. Soon their black hair was covered with thick, reddish-brown muck. The camels were the only animals not seeming to mind the onslaught of rain. They stood near the acacia trees, munching away as their tan fur clumped into a stringy mass. Even though they stood in mud, they could still move around.

After many hours, the rain stopped. The small rivers that had flowed across the land, soaked into the sandy soil. The lizards were the first to poke their heads out of the ground, making sure it was safe. They scurried about, frantic, looking for something to eat. Wherever the water had left the ants; thatís where they started digging new tunnels. The bees started a new hive and the butterflies did the best they could with what was left of the flowers.

Marib shook the leaves off. Water ran down to the ground. He climbed down to where the cluster of bananas was and pulled one off. He peeled the thick, yellow skin off and tossed it to the ground and ate it quickly, thankful he lived in the trees.

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