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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Spitting Watermelon Seeds

The tortoise finished ripping the last piece of watermelon rind off, crunched it in his strong jaw and then swallowed it. He felt the seed inside his mouth and spit it out. It flew a few yards and landed in the sand. "Hey, thatís pretty good," the crocodile said. "You spit that seed a long way. Can you do it again?" he asked.

The tortoise bit off another piece of melon off. This piece had three seeds in it. He spit one, and then the next, and then the next. Each seed flew through the air, landing in the hot sand. Each one went a little further than the one before. "Here, let me try that," the crocodile said. He ate a big chunk out of the watermelon and filled his mouth with seeds. He spit them out, one after another and they soared through the air, landing even further than the tortoises.

As the crocodile spit his last seed, a hippo came out of the river. He stood and watched. "You spit those seeds far, but I can spit them even further," he boasted. He bit some of the watermelon off and chewed it up. Juice ran down his chin. He gathered the seeds in his large open mouth, puckered up and spit the seeds. They shot out, flying further than the crocodiles. "Beat that," he challenged the other two animals.

A duck was waddling by and saw the animals gathered round the watermelon. "What are you doing?" she asked.

"Weíre having a contest to see who can spit the watermelon seed the furthest. Do you want to try to beat mine?" the hippo asked.

"Sure, Iíll try," the duck said. She took a bite of watermelon. "Wow, there are a lot of seeds in this!" She puckered her beak and spit a seed. It shot through the air and landed even further away than the hippos.

"Wow! That was good. Youíre the winner so far," The croc said.

Just then a fox came up from of his underground den. "Beat what?" he asked the other animals.

"Weíre having a watermelon seed spitting contest. So far Iíve spit the seeds further than the tortoise or the crocodile. Letís see what you can do," the hippo urged the fox.

Carefully examining all the seeds lying on the ground, the fox said, "I can beat that. Just stand back and watch the master." He bit a piece of an even riper watermelon that was hooked onto the long, meandering vine. He chewed it up. Juice ran everywhere. His fur was soon a sticky mess. "Watch this," he mumbled, not able to speak well from his mouth filled up with seeds. He took careful aim and spit the seeds. Each seed darted across the sand. "Aha," the fox laughed. "Iíve beat you, hippo. I beat you, crocodile and you too, tortoise. I am the master. I am the winner." The fox ran circles around the other three, laughing and taunting them.

Just then an elephant walked up. "Whatís all this about? What are you doing?" he asked the fox, watching his gleeful dance.

"We had a watermelon seed spitting contest to see who could spit the seed the furthest. I won. I beat all three of them. Care to challenge me?" he asked the huge, gray elephant.

The elephant looked at the tortoise. It was shaking its head back and forth, saying no. He looked at the crocodile. Its mouth silently formed the word ĎNOí. The elephant then looked at the hippo. He was standing on the banks of the river, shaking his head up and down. "Yes," he mumbled.

The elephant smiled and picked up the watermelon with his trunk. He put it in his mouth and munched it all up. A puddle of watermelon juice formed by his feet as it dribbled out of his mouth. He gathered the seeds in his mouth and spit them out. They didnít go very far. In fact they didnít even go as far as the tortoiseís. The fox began to laugh. "Ha Ha. I knew you couldnít beat me."

The elephant tried again, and again, but each time the seed only went a short distance. The fox ran around laughing and pointing his finger at the other animals. "You canít beat me. Iím the best."

The elephant felt something tickle his nose. He started getting ready to sneeze. The others looked at him. The fox stopped running and put his hands over his ears. Elephants make a lot of noise when they sneeze. Suddenly the elephant let out the loudest sneeze. A watermelon seed shot out of his mouth like a bullet and flew through the air. It flew past the seeds heíd spit out earlier. It flew past the tortoiseís seeds, past the crocodileís seeds and past the hippoís seeds. The fox stood with his mouth agape and watched as the seed flew past his seed. It kept on going, and going, and going. Finally, when it stopped, it had gone a hundred yards.

The elephant smiled. The hippo smiled. The crocodile smiled. The tortoise smiled. "I won! I won!" the elephant began to laugh out loud.

The fox stood there, scratching his head. He couldnít beat that. He wasnít the winner anymore. "Congratulations," he uttered softly to the elephant. "Youíre the best," he said. "Iím going home to take a bath and wash this sticky watermelon juice off my fur."

"Youíll need to use a bar of soap and warm water," the tortoise said.

The fox ignored them and ran into his burrow. The other four animals stayed where they were and ate some more watermelon. They didnít spit any more seeds. It didnít matter anymore. They just enjoyed eating and being friends.

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