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.