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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Stories for Younger Children
First or Last?

First or Last?

It was spring, time for the annual Dragonfly Race. When the cherry blossoms began to bloom and the air was filled with their sweet fragrance, all the dragonflies in the woods gathered for the race. "I am going to win!" Sammy said. "I practiced all winter long. My wings can flutter up and down quicker than any other dragonfly’s."

"We’ll see during the race," Annie said. "I’ve been practicing too."

"Me too," Robby added.

"Where do we have to race to?" Annie asked.

"We fly to the pond, go around each lily pad three times, head for the oak trees, and then the cherry trees. The first dragonfly to pick a cherry blossom and take it to the judge, wins the race," Sammy said.

"I think we’d better get to the starting place. There are already ten other dragonflies there," Robby said.

"All right, is everyone ready?" the judge asked. "On your marks, get set, GO!" he shouted and the dragonflies flew away.

Sammy led the race. He found the pond and flew around the lily pads three times. "I’m going to be the winner!" he giggled. He was glad he’d practiced a lot.

Annie was right behind him. She wanted to win just as much. Robby’s wings beat quickly as he tried to catch up with the others. "I want to win! I want to win!" he frowned, realizing he was way behind.

When Sammy and Annie neared the oak trees, a huge robin came flying towards them. "Lunch!" It chased the two dragonflies and tried to eat them.

"Go away!" Sammy said.

"Go away!" Annie cried.

The two dragonflies didn’t know what to do. "The bird is going to eat us if we don’t hide," Sammy feared. "Follow me." He flew into a field of bright red poppies. "If we hide in here for a while, the robin won’t be able to find us." Annie and Sammy hid inside a poppy. The robin flew above them, trying to see where they were.

"Where are Annie and Sammy?" Robby wondered. He flew around the oak tree a few times. "They must already be at the finish line. I’d better hurry." Robby flew as quickly as he could to the cherry tree. He plucked a pink blossom off and flew on.

"Has that robin left yet? We’ll loose the race," Sammy wondered.

Annie looked around. "I think he’s gone. Come on. Let’s get back to the race."

The two dragonflies flew to the oak tree and then headed for the cherry tree. Each of them picked a blossom and headed for the finish line. When they got there, Robby was waiting for them. "I won!" he shouted. "I was the first one here! You two are last. You lost the race."

Annie and Sammy were sad. They had wanted to win. "It’s all that robin’s fault," Sammy pouted.

"It doesn’t matter why you lost. You came in last. I came in first," Robby laughed.

Annie and Sammy knew that they’d have to practice extra hard so they could have a chance of winning. "Next year, we’ll try to avoid the robin," Annie said. "Next year will be different. We’ll come in first, not last."

Robby didn’t care about next year. He’d won first place this year and was the happiest dragonfly in the woods.

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