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January 21, 2009
It was a happy, sunny, amazing day in the woods. The birds were chirping, and the little animals were all out running around having a great day. Freddy, the newest turtle in the bunch was on his way to the lake to go wade in the sun for the day. He had a big dream that had been running around in his little head for a long time. He was thinking about it again on the lake that day and decided to go for it.
Freddy was just sitting there talking to himself, and the one animal that he was supposed to stay away from swam up to him. Snappy, the snapping turtle, was the fastest turtle and was also the meanest. He always had something to say. He was making fun of Freddy today, so Freddy got mad and went home. When he got home, he ran the plan by his mother, and she thought it was a great idea. Well, Freddy was going to start the next day. He wanted to win the Golden Acorn at the Animal Olympics. The Animal Olympics had both land and water races, but There was the Amazing Race, which they run all through the woods; It was the longest land race of the Olympics There was the newest race called the Deadly Drop, a water race that was going to be raced for the first time this year. Freddy was scared to race Snappy in the water race, so Freddy was going to enter the land race to try to beat Snappy. the problem was that Freddy had very little legs, and he wasn’t built to be a runner. Because of this, he would get very tired extremely fast.
Freddy, however, was not one to be troubled by his obvious athletic inabilities. He had a plan, and he intended to carry it out! The next day Freddy was on a mission to find a trainer who was very fast and who was also an animal that would be his friend. He was going toward the lake to see if he could find a competent trainer when he caught a flash out of the corner of his eye. Freddy looked as fast as he could. There it was, the fastest animal Freddy could think of!
Freddy turned and walked over to the little rabbit. He said, “What is your name?”
“Clover,” said the little rabbit. “I live up on the other side of the lake but I like to come over here to get a change in view. I love the view on this side of the lake.”
“Oh, are you a fast runner, Clover?” asked Freddy.
“Yes, very fast. I always race my older siblings, and I always win. I am a champion when it comes to running,” explained Clover, not bragging but simply stating the facts.
“Wow, do you think you could teach me how to run? I want to win a Golden Acorn at the Animal Olympics, which will be held in about three months,” Freddy exclaimed joyously.
“I would love to help you,” Clover said.
They became friends, and the rest of the day Clover trained Freddy. Freddy was having trouble, and Clover was starting to get upset with Freddy. No matter how much Clover advised and demonstrated and coaxed, Freddy was only able to go about ten yards in ten seconds . . . at a dead sprint, which is very slow.
Frustrated and hot, Clover decided that they should take a break and just go to the lake. After cooling off, Clover and Freddy were happy again and ready for a little friendly competition. They decided to race to the lake just to see if the turtle would even have a chance racing the rabbits in the race.
They counted down. “Three . . . two . . . one . . . GO!”
They were off, and Clover was way out in front of Freddy. Clover stopped and waited for about five minutes. When he reached to the lake but never saw Freddy, Clover just finished the race, having to wait another ten minutes near the water’s edge before Freddy even got to the lake.
“I don’t think that running on land is for you,” Clover said worriedly.
“Yeah,” said Freddy, “you killed me on the way to the lake.”
“Well, do you still want me to help you learn how to run?” asked Clover.
“No,” said Freddy sadly, “but I would still like to be your friend because you are a very nice rabbit.”
The rest of the day Freddy was very miserable because he knew that he didn’t have a chance at winning the Golden Acorn. He decided to go out on his favorite tree branch to get away from everybody. When he got to the tree, he crawled up on it and started to cry. He spotted Snappy on the other side of the lake, so he decided to move back on the log so that Snappy wouldn’t see him.
Once he got out of sight of Snappy, he felt safe again and started to think about the Golden Acorn again. I wish I could win that Golden Acorn. That would make Snappy leave me alone when I come to the lake.
Freddy was surprised when he looked down into the water because a fish popped out of the water.
“Hi, my name is Sammy. You look like you need someone to talk to. What is your name?” asked Sammy.
“Freddy is my name. I have a dream to win a Golden Acorn at the Animal Olympics, but I thought that I should run the ground race to beat the rabbits. I started training today, but I was way too slow so I gave up. My dream of winning the Golden Acorn is over,” cried Freddy.
“Wait, did you say that you wanted to race a ground run?” Sammy laughed. “Why would you do that when they have swimming races for turtles?” asked the smart little fish.
“I thought about that, but Snappy, the snapping turtle, is way faster than I am, and I don’t have anyone that can teach me how to swim faster,” explained Freddy.
“I will help you if you want me to,” offered Sammy.
“Sweet! I would love it if you could help me train to win that race,” shouted Freddy.
“Well, what race do you want to participate in?” asked Sammy.
Freddy said, “The race to the bottom of the lake.”
“Okay, let’s get started right now!” yelled Sammy, catching the nearly contagious excitement of this young turtle friend.
Freddy slid off the log into the water, and they started training for the race. He was so excited that when he slid into the water, he yelled, which made Snappy wonder what was going on over in the bay that Freddy was in.
“Oh no! Snappy is on his way over here,” whispered Freddy. “I don’t like him. He is not very nice to me.”
“Hurry, let’s hide under this log,” said Sammy. “I have a hiding spot where I hide from all the big fish.”
They both burrowed into the bottom of the tree, and before Snappy could get over there to see them, they were in the hiding spot. They stayed there until Freddy couldn’t hold his breath any longer, and he began to sink to the bottom. That surprised Freddy, and that was when he realized that he could win the race by just getting rid of all his air. He went to the surface, and Snappy was sitting there waiting for him.
“Hey, Freddy, what are you doing on this side of the lake? You know this is my bay,” shouted Snappy.
Freddy shouted back, “I am practicing for the Animal Olympics.”
“Well, practice somewhere else,” said Snappy.
“No, I can go wherever I want on this lake. You don’t own it,” said Freddy
Snappy was mad, but Freddy had a point, so Snappy decided to leave him alone.
Freddy kept on practicing. The Animal Olympics was right around the corner. He was getting excited, and so was Sammy. With about a week left until the race, Sammy was starting to see his training pay off. Freddy was now consistently recording the fastest times a turtle had ever achieved in the Animal Olympics every time he dropped to the bottom of the lake. Sammy was very confident that Freddy was going to win his race.
The Animal Olympics rolled around, and Freddy’s race was next. All the animals in the woods were standing there watching and waiting because they had heard that Freddy was going to set the record for the best time.
“Okay, this is it, critters and crawlers!” roared Clover Rabbit, trying to rile up the crowd as he announced the upcoming event. “Step up! Step up to lakeside to get a good view of the Olympics’ event, the Deadly Drop.
“This is the premiere of the newest race we have. It is called the Deadly Drop. The Deadly Drop is a race to the bottom of the lake as fast as you can. We are at the deepest spot in the lake. There are seven racers for the Deadly Drop. It is about fifteen feet to the bottom, so it shouldn’t take long to finish this race. There are no rules for the race just to get to the bottom. There are five fish at the bottom that are going to watch to see who hits first. Well, let’s get this race going.” said Clover. The crowd all yelled and was excited to see the new race.
Freddy approached the starting rocks. He smiled at Clover, winked at Sammy, who was nervously swimming nearby, and started to lose his breath. Everybody got scared because he wasn’t breathing, but Sammy said, this is his technique. The people were amazed that Sammy wanted Freddy to lose his breath before he raced to the bottom. “What does a fish know about breathing?” a rude squirrel chattered, his voice carrying over the noise of the crowd.
“This is never going to work,” worried another animal.
“It’s going to work great for me!” yelled Snappy cockily, waiting for the starters signal. “Three… Two… One”, they counted down, “GO”. They were off, and just like that in about seven seconds he was down at the bottom of the lake and the race was over. Everybody shouted and was amazed at what they just witnessed. Freddy had won the Golden Acorn and had established the record time to the bottom of the lake. All the other racers had gotten to the bottom in around ten to twelve seconds. Snappy had come got second place in the race. He had a time of ten seconds. Snappy now had some respect for Freddy.