M Y T H S
HOW VULTURES LOST THEIR FEATHERS
A long, long time ago, when vultures
still had feathered heads and still ate
live meat, when lions were still a pure,
white color, there was a baby. Now
this baby had a pet vulture that he
fed every day. Lizards, bugs, mice -
all alive and kicking. For the
scavenger this was the best part of
being a kept bird. After all, he did have
to endure the infant's petting and pulling
during feeding time. So he stayed.
One day the baby grabbed the wrong feather and as a result, the vulture SCREECHED so loud that the baby's father (outside constructing the first wheel) dropped the boulder he was carrying right on his foot. As the father yelled in pain in the background, the little boy, amused, began pulling as many feathers as possible from the predatory bird's legs.
About halfway through the vulture bent down - intending to peck the toddler. Unfortunately for the winged beast, that wasn't to happen as the boy, (smarter than he looked) caught the creature’s beak and started yanking all the feathers he could reach from there.
Again halfway through, the bird managed to free it’s head and legs. But as he started to take off he felt a tug on his wings. He flapped and flapped and finally looked down to see the father's livid face - glaring up at him.
Sensing his doom, the vulture flapped as hard as he could, barely managing to make it out of the angry father's grasp. He flew away to build a nest overlooking the dry savanna and to brood over the loss of his feathers. But this story is not yet finished, oh no. For because of his baldness, this bird was mocked by all his comrades and never found a mate. So, to prove that he was indeed the strongest vulture there, he killed the vulture emperor and as a first decree, ordered all his followers' heads' shaved. His second decree (intended to banish all traces of human dominance over a member of the bird world) condemned all vultures to eat dead meat forever. Although even after all that he never found a mate and died old and childless. As for the child, he retained no memory of the experience. However, his now lame father impressed upon him all his life that his handicap had come about through some fault of his son. To make it up to his sire (who still remained a little irritated), the kid (now long dead) finished what his progenitor had started before him and invented the first wheel. He is now remembered in history as "the dude who built the first wheel". Nowadays, all parents teach their children not to grab things - even if they don’t really know why. But now, you do.
THE HUMMINGBIRD & THE STARS
Many moons ago, when animals roamed freely around the earth, a blanket of darkness fell over the sky. To test the animals' teamwork, mother earth cursed the sun that it would never shine again until the animal learned the valuable lessons. As soon as the 1st week ended the animals started freaking out. Without light the land animals couldn't hunt and without morning nocturnal animals couldn't rest so everyone had their problems. Children got hungry and the adults got even more worried by then, the lion king knew he had to call a meeting.
"As you all know, without sun light, it is almost impossible to survive, but remember, as I said, almost." boomed the King. " The plan is that we must all, together, make a tower to the sky and cut small holes for sunlight." A wave of whispers splashed over the animal as they thought about the coming day.
"First the rhinos then the lion and then..” Trailed the king. The animals climbed onto each other one by one and when they got to the top they were just fingertips away when they heard a light humming. It was the humming bird.
" I-I can p- poke the sky with by b-beak." stumbled humming bird.
" We bears can poke the sky too with our claws" claimed the bears.
" B-but I can f-fly higher" replied the bird. That silenced them all.
“ But we are bigger.” The bear finally said. After that the animals moved on and continued trying. As the days grew old the animals kept trying and the humming bird kept asking. Finally after trying to reach the sky, the bear and lion let the humming bird try. The humming bird zipped through the air and poked small dots into the sky letting just enough light to see on to the dark land. When humming bird came back down all animals praised him. The next day when the animals arose a beam of sunlight spread across their face. From then on, after the sun went down, stars began to shine and the humming bird went to poke some more stars.
THE MYSTERY OF THE BUBBLE RASH
“Another person dead from the rash?!” my mother exclaimed.
For the past few weeks, hundreds of kids in the area had been getting serious rashes from touching bubbles that were put in the waterfall at the national park. Some kids had died from it. Still, no one knew who had put the bubbles in the waterfall. And so far, there was no known cure.
The next day, when I got to 1st period science class, I was surprised to see a bunch of rash medicines on the tables.
Mrs. Green, the science teacher, caught me staring at the bottles.
“Just sit down, and I'll explain after the bell rings,” she snapped.
“I am sure that all of you have heard about the 'Bubble Rash',” Mrs. Green began. The class nodded.
“So today, we are going to try to find a cure for this terrible rash,” Mrs. Green finished.
Silence. Then, one of my friends, Kimberly, cautiously raised a hand.
“Excuse me, Mrs. Green, but wouldn't it be quicker to find the person who put the bubbles in? Instead of trying to cure the rash ourselves?” Kimberly asked.
I nodded in agreement. Several other students did, too.
Mrs. Green narrowed her eyes, but then smiled an evil-looking grin.
“Well, if you want to waste your time trying to find the culprit, go right ahead, be my guest.”
Kimberly stood up, shoved her stool under the table, and walked out of the classroom, slamming the door behind her.
After watching a few more people follow Kimberly, I did, too.
“Thanks for supporting me back there, guys, but to be honest with you, I have no idea where to start,” Kimberly sighed.
“Well…it started when someone poured soap into the waterfall, right?” I said.
“...so all we have to do is find out who put the soap bubbles in!” a boy named Donald finished excitedly.
“We could watch the security camera recordings for the person,” a girl named Rose quietly suggested.
And so, during 1st period Science, Kimberly, Donald, Rose, and I watched the recordings of the security cameras on the day the bubbles appeared.
By the 4th day of watching (and not finding anything), we were about to give up when Rose whispered, “Wait, that lady's pouring soap into the waterfall!”
“Pause the video, pause the video!” Donald screamed.
“Zoom in, zoom in!” Kimberly shouted.
“Who is that?” I asked.
“Wait, I think I know who that is,” Kimberly said
“That's...” Rose began.
“MRS. GREEN!” we all shouted together.
But, the question was, would anyone believe us?
Two weeks later, I stood fidgeting in a Plaintiff stand in a courtroom, along with Rose, Kimberly, Donald, and a District Attorney. We had accused Mrs. Green as the “Bubble Rash” culprit, Mrs. Green's lawyer had defended her, and now we were waiting for the jury to make a decision.
A tall man in a stiff, black suit stood up.
“The jury has decided that Mrs. Daisy Green is...”
The entire courtroom held its breath.
“Mrs. Green, you are sentenced to life in prison. Case closed,” the judge announced.
That night, Rose, Kimberly, Donald, and I had dinner together with our families and the District Attorney. I sighed.
“Tomorrow's going to be a boring school day,” I said sadly.
“At least we found the cure,” Rose offered.
“And, the culprit is in jail,” Kimberly added.
“Seeing Mrs. Green behind bars was kind of funny,” Donald said, “But I'm kind of glad that it's over now.” Kelly, Age 11
WHY MONKEYS LIKE TO EAT BANANAS
Do you ever wonder why monkeys eat bananas? Well just read the story to find out.
Once upon a time there was a monkey named Rom. Rom was starving and there was nothing he could eat except for his own boogers and saliva. One day Rom wandered around for food until a bannana fell on Rom's head. "Hey watch it!" yelled Rom "Huh?" Rom said confused. Rom took the bannana and tore off the bannana peel and took a bite of it. "Hey this isn't half bad other than saliva and boogers." Rom said. So Rom went to the other monkeys and told them about the exciting news. All the monkeys got excited and all the monkeys went to the rainforest for bannanas. Sooner enough bannanas became a favorite food for the monkeys.
That's why monkeys eat bannanas. By Everett K., age 11
STEVE AND THE RAP OFF
"So when do we get the choosen one?" a mysterious person asked. "be patient we'll get him tommorow at midnight" Another person said. "Well i cant wait!" a talking pig yelled.
it alll started when there was a person named steve. steve was walking in the streets of New York and was 17 years old. while he was walking, a guy with a red x on a black suit came out of nowhere and asked him, "where is he!?" steve was confused ans surprised so all he did was kicked him in the place that probably hurt a million times. the the guy let him go and fell down groaning. Steve then ran for his life back too his house.
When steve was laying down on his bed he was wondering what this person that was in the words he heard from that wired red x man. he kept wondering about it until he fell asleep. when he woke up a pig in front of him and said "Are you okay?" "Ahhh! a talking pig Steve cried. "Yes you are right he is a talking pig," A person explained to him. "His name is rammy and my name is sung -ho but call me SH. Oh and the hairy guy is Hairy Copper but call him Hairy." SH continued anyways, We brought you here since you are the choosen one and could help us rap agianst the Red X. Erd X are the bad rappers with leader lord sortamore and sidekick he hired, Shadow Face. SH finishied. "Ok but one question where the heck am i? Steve asked. "oh yeah forgot to tell you, we're at Boston." SH answered. "Wait Boston?" Steve asked surprised.
"Yeah Boston why?" SH asked. "Well boston is pretty far from new york if you drive" Steve answered to SH. "Yeah that's why we flew reunited airlines to boston and on the way back." SH finished. "Ohhhhhhhhhhh." Steve siad now knowing how they got here early in the morning. "So since you are the choosen one you could help us destroy lord sortamore base, fort sortamore. fort saortamore is located at la, California." SH told Steve and the rest of the crew. "Well then what are you waiting for? lets kick bad rapper but!" Steve yelled to his teamates.
While they were riding a heicopter Steve didn't feel to good and threw up on
Hairy. "Aw come on now how will i ever wint the hairiest men model competiton?" Hairy complained. " oh sorry, ill clean that for you." Steve apoligized to Hairy. "No it's ok i have my own barf cleaner and airfreshener. just in case." Hairy said to steve. "everybody shut up and listen. were now arriving at Fort sortamore, so everybody get a parachute and jump out!" SH ordered everyone. while they jumped out
To be continued... by Everett K., Age 11
As Lucy crawled forward toward second period, she glanced enviously at passing students. How lucky they all were, without having to worry about all their imperfections. Especially sea snails. They had a nice, roomy shell to cover up anything they didn’t like about themselves. Except Lucy didn’t want to be a snail. They were so slow that the school had to make passing period longer because they couldn’t make it to their next class in time. But having that shell would be nice.
Lucy altered her course and turned toward the lockers. They were a beautiful coral red. They color always seemed to tease Lucy when she came near. Lucy had always wished to be red, but instead had always lived in a burgundy shell. Eventually, the lockers would rust and turn Lucy’s color but since the school had just been built they were bright red.
Lucy twisted her lock and the door jumped open. Suddenly, Olivia was beside her, reaching a tentacle over her shoulder to pluck a seaweed flavored candy from the basket inside. Lucy pushed the arm away with her small claw and whipped her head around. Seaweed candies were rare and Lucy knew to protect them with her life. Olivia and Carrie gave identical cheeky grins and then hurried off to class. Lucy slammed her locker door and scuttled after the pair. Carrie was darting to and fro in the halls, her tiny clownfish tail beating in the water and Olivia was maneuvering over the ground, not able to move as fast as her friend. By the time Lucy caught up, it was a minute to the bell and they hurried off to second period. As they walked into class, laughter drifted through the water. The popular girls. Although only one of them was a lobster, it was enough to make Lucy sick. With her flawless Crayola red shell, beautifully small beady black eyes, and two perfect claws, Lilly was gorgeous. All of her features were airbrushed and pretty. Lucy’s self-esteem dropped to floor level.
Lucy’s eyes burned, a signal that she was about to cry. But she would not cry here. Lucy scurried off to the bathroom; Carrie and Olivia close on her red-brown heels. A single tear slipped out of Lucy’s eye and mixed with the salt water surrounding her. A sob scratched its way out of her throat. Finally in the bathroom, Lucy ducked into a stall and locked the door. Nobody got to see her cry, not even Olivia or Carrie. But when the door banged open and Lucy glimpsed a flickering striped tail and a long brown tentacle with blue rings on it, she admitted defeat.
“Are you okay?” Carrie asked, her voice laden with sweetness.
“Yes,” Lucy replied curtly. “But I hate my claws.”
“Their not that bad,” Olivia piped in.
“Yes they are,” Lucy hissed through the door, all traces of crying having evaporated. Carrie and Olivia shared a look.
“Well,” Carrie started. “If you really hate them that much…”
“I do!” Lucy interrupted.
“Then you could go to Neptune and ask him to use his magic to make them the same size. He’s in town, you know.” And then it was like the great light of heaven had shown down upon Lucy’s odd claws.
“Yes!” Lucy exclaimed, her voice packed with excitement. She unlocked her stall and skipped off to class, leaving Carrie and Olivia alone in the bathroom, baffled and perplexed. The rest of the day passed in a blur for Lucy. All she could think about was Neptune and her claws.
The next day was Saturday, so there was no school.
“You seem excited,” Lucy’s mom announced, responding to her daughters jittery movements that morning. “Doing anything with Olivia and Carrie?”
“Nothing much,” Lucy lied. “We’ll just be hanging out on the reef.” At that moment, Lucy dad, Larry, came in the front door, muttering something about the quality of roads in their town. The family had run out of fish, and he had hiked to the grocery store to obtain some. He crawled through the kitchen door, a package of small frozen fish clutched in his claw.
“Sorry it took so long, Laurie,” Larry said to his wife. “Those roads to the supermarket are just so bad.”
“I don’t mind,” Laurie replied. “Anyway, Lucy, do you need a ride to the reef?”
“No thanks, we’re taking the bus,” Lucy replied, truthfully. They actually were taking the bus, but not to the reef. Once her friends arrived, she all set off to the bus stop, Carrie and Olivia doing their best to keep up with the determined lobster. They boarded a mackerel bus and slid to the back of the slippery fish.
“Neptune will be at the community center today,” Olivia announced.
“Cool,” Lucy replied as they stepped off the bus.
“You sure you want to do this?” Carrie timidly asked, not wanting to injure her friend’s feelings. Lucy nodded without hesitation. After all, this was what she had wanted since she was six. Lucy strode quickly up the steps.
They entered the waiting room and gave their names to the guard. He was a barracuda and jotted something quickly down on a clipboard. Ever so carefully the three edged away from him as his teeth gleamed in the light.
When the guard called out their names, Lucy’s heartbeat quickened as she began to doubt her intentions. Was this really the right thing to do? At first, Lucy couldn’t move, but her friends prodded her to her feet and with a light shoe from behind, she entered the king’s drawing room. And there he was. Neptune was sitting in a chair piled high with diamonds and gold. Two sea horses stood in position on the sides of his throne. Neptune himself was exactly how she had imagined him. Tan, huge, and muscular. He had a halo of billowing white hair that cascaded over his shoulders and a long beard that tapered into a wispy ribbon of thread.
“Speak,” he demanded crossly. Lucy glanced behind her to Carrie and Olivia who stood behind looking like they had swallowed fish bones. They nodded and motioned for her to answer Neptune.
“I want…” and then I stopped. Was this really what I wanted? Truly was this my life’s dream? No. No! “Better roads for our town,” I stammered and then scurried out.
“What happened?” Carrie asked breathlessly. “I thought you were going to ask for him to change your claws.”
“I love my claws and I wouldn’t change them for anything,” I told them. “They make me unique.” No matter how many times it took me to explain what happened today, they would never understand. It was something that could only be taught to those who had felt it.