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Who Is the Best?

A Children's Story



(to be illustrated)




Deep in the forest
Over that far hill
And across the meadow
And beyond the farmhouse
And beyond the pasture
Next to a stream...
There is a dead old oak tree.

One day
On a beautiful spring morning
When the sun was shining on the dew
And the bees were buzzing by the flowers
And a gentle breeze was swaying in the grass...
An owl came to sit on a branch of the old oak tree.

Whoooooo! Whoooooo! Whoooooo!
The owl called from the oak tree
Whoooooo! Whoooooo! Whoooooo!

Now I'm going to tell you a secret.
Animals talk to each other.

And THAT day
The animals were talking very loudly
Because they were talking about
Who was the best.

Before the sun had risen over the top of the trees
The animals were so upset that
There was such noise...
There was so much noise...
That only the owl
Sitting in the dead old oak tree
Could be heard above them all.

And the owl was saying
Whooooo!
Whooooo!
And the animals looked at the owl
And said all at once
Yes, owl, yes! Whoooo!
Who is the best?

Then
The hawk spread its wings
And jumped up high
And soon was soaring through the sky.

It's me... it's me... it's me..!
I'm the best... the VERY best.

And before the hawk had landed
A red bird began singing
And when it had finished singing
It sp;read its beautiful wings
And glided gracefully away
All the while saying
Its me... its me... its me...!
I'm the best... the VERY best.

But the squirrel began chittering
And flashed its tail
And ran up the tree
Then jumped from tree to tree
All the while saying
Its me... its me... its me...!
I'm the best... the VERY best.

From the bushes stepped a deer
Graceful and gentle
It spoke up, too
Have you seen me jump and dash through the trees?
Its me... its me... its me...
I'm the best... the very best.

Then all the animals began to talk
The birds, the squirrels, the beavers, the deer
The rabbits, the raccoons, the possums,
And... EVEN THE BEES...!
All talking... all at the same time...
That there was such noise...
There was so much noise...
That only the owl
Sitting in the dead old oak tree
Could be heard above them all.

Whoooooo! Whoooooo! Whoooooo!
The owl called from the oak tree
Whoooooo! Whoooooo! Whoooooo!

And then the owl... talked
And the owl... said...
My dear friends...
You are ALL my friends
And I love you all...
Didn't you know...?
Don't you see...?
There IS no best at all...!

The hawk does what he's born to do
As wonderful as can be.
The red bird is what he's born to be
And does it beautifully...!

The deer, the squirrel, the mouse, the raccoon
and even the buzzing bee
Do what they do
What they are born to do
So well and beautifully
That there IS no best
There is never a best
Among friends like you and me.






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