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The Rabbit and the Apple Tree
There once was a rabbit who was hungry. He had hiked in the forest for seven hours and 35 minutes searching for food. He finally came upon an inviting and shady area. He scanned the trees. He found a tall brown one, holding juicy red apples. He imagined the sweet crunch.
He reached to a branch trying to pull down an apple. But the branch was too high. He jumped up into the air, grasping for the apple. But all he caught was air.
He then climbed up the tree, but ended up on the ground. Discouraged, he plopped onto a nearby tree stump.
He spotted an enormous pile of flat gray rocks. He jumped over to the heap of stones and piled them into a stack next to the apple tree. When he had seven rocks assembled against the tree, he scrambled up the rocks and grabbed three apples.
He happily munched. "Where there's a will," he said, "there's always a way."
The Squirrel and the Bear
On a warm summer day, a walnut brown squirrel was gathering acorns and other food for winter, when a tiny chocolate brown bear came running along, dancing and singing loudly.
"Hooray! It's summertime. I get to sing and dance all day for three months. I don't have any work!" the bear said to a tree.
"What are you doing?" the bear asked the squirrel, who continued to grab acorns from an oak tree.
The squirrel did not stop putting acorns into his basket. "I am collecting food for winter time," the squirrel simply answered.
"Why are you doing that? It's sunny, and the days are long. You should be skipping around like I am," said the bear, hopping on one foot while clapping his claws.
"But what will you do in wintertime? There will be no food to eat. You will starve," said the squirrel climbing up a tall oak tree and reaching for another acorn.
"There is plenty of food for me to eat, and there is plenty of time to gather food," said the bear leaning against the tree and yawning.
"Okay, it is your choice, but try to make a wise decision," said the squirrel racing down the oak tree and putting five more acorns into his basket.
The bear had fun dancing and singing all summer long.
Soon winter came, and the bear began eyeing the bare oak trees. All the acorns were gone. Now the bear did not sing or dance. He trudged to the squirrel's home.
The bear knocked on the door. The squirrel opened it. The bear peered inside. Out of the corner of his eye, he snuck a glance at six baskets full of acorns.
"May I have some?" said the bear staring at his feet.
"Why didn't you gather food during the summer like me?" asked the squirrel. "What were you doing while I was gathering food?"
"I was enjoying the warm sun and singing and dancing. I hardly noticed the summer passing so fast," said the bear.
"Well then dance and sing now. You did it in the summer, so do it now," said the squirrel harshly.
"Please may I have some food? I am hungry, and I should have listened to what you told me in the summer and collected food," said the bear miserably.
"Ok, you may have some acorns," said the squirrel. "But I hope you learned your lesson: Always prepare today for tomorrow's needs!"
Jessica and the Three Sloths
"I think we should go on a pleasant stroll before we eat our porridge," said a mother sloth in her middle-sized voice.
"Wow, that is a lovely idea," said the father sloth in his big-sized voice.
"Yeah! Let's go on a walk!" said the baby sloth in his small-sized voice, motioning for his mother and father to hurry. So they set off for their walk, leaving their porridge on their wooden table.
Just as the sloth family crossed the bridge, a girl named Jessica ran down a path looking for blueberries. She had been picking blackberries and raspberries from the small green bushes when she noticed a beautiful house. She knocked on the door. No one answered. She gently opened the entry a crack. It creaked loudly. She leaned to the side and peered in.
"Wow! It is even more beautiful indoors!" she cried, swinging the door so it was fully open.
She walked to the kitchen and came upon a round wooden table. On the table, she found three bowls of delicious-looking porridge. She tasted the mother sloth's porridge. It was too cold. She moved on to taste the father sloth's porridge. It was too hot. She tasted the baby sloth's porridge. It was just right. She slurped up the whole bowl of porridge.
Next she spotted three comfy chairs in the living room. She sat on the mother sloth's chair. It was too hard. She sat on the father sloth's chair. It was too soft. She saw a small, wooden, rickety chair. She plopped herself on it. It was just right. She rocked back and forth on the chair until BOOM, the two rear legs broke.
She then noticed a staircase winding up to another floor. She had always wanted to climb a set of spiral stairs, like one would find in a palace. She scurried up the steps and walked into the bedroom, where she found three different-sized beds. She sat on the mother sloth's bed. It was too hard. She sat on the father sloth's bed. It was too soft. She sat on the baby sloth's bed and fell asleep because it was comfortable.
When the sloth family came back from their walk, the mother and father discovered that their porridge had been tasted. The baby sloth burst into tears when he realized that his porridge was all gone.
Wondering why their porridge had been disturbed, they hurried into the living room and found that their chairs had been used.
They rushed up the stairs and into the bedroom. Someone was lying in the baby sloth's bed.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Rabbit and the Apple Tree and Two Other Tales"
Copyright © 2018 Sonya Bee.
Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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