Speedy Cheetah was taking his daily run through the field when he passed his longtime
friend a the watering hole, Shelby Snail.
“Hey Shelby! When are you going to run against me in a race?”, asked Speedy.
“I don’t know.”, slowly said Shelby. “I have to think about it.”
“You say that everyday!”, said Speedy. “I will make it really sweet and make you want to
race. Let’s race for a meal!”
“If you win, you will get a spinach, strawberry and sunflower seed salad with a sassafras
soda and I will make it for you. If I win, I will get sixteen savory smothered steaks with a
small strawberry shake.”
“Sounds good so far. When and where will it be?”, asked Shelby,
“Let’s have it on Saturday, September seventh at six A.M. We will run six short miles
through the savanna. I am sure I will run circles around you,win the race and get my
sixteen steaks!”, said Speedy.
“Don’t be in such a hurry to name the winner of the race.”, said Shelby. “It has not started
yet. So much can happen between now and Saturday, September seventh at six A.M!”
Speedy continued to sail past Shelby on his daily short sprints at seventy miles per hour.
Saturday, September seventh at six A.M. came very quickly and with a few surprises. There
were several short showers the night before, so the savanna was slightly soggy at sunrise
The sables, servals, sitatungas and springhares were all lined along the race trail through
the savanna to support the race. Sammy the elephant shrew came in this best striped suit
to referee the race. Shelby came out from under a palm leaf that morning and slowly
slithered to the starting line.
Speedy sauntered stealthily to the starting line. “I know this race is clearly mine!”, he
“We will see.”, said Shelby.”The day is early and six miles to go, the savanna looks great
for a snail in a race.”
Sammy the elephant shrew said,” You are running a six mile loop around the savanna this
morning. The first one to finish will win either the salad and soda or the smothered steaks
and shake. May the best one win! On your marks! Get set! GO!”
Speedy took off in a flash from the start and slipped and slid along the muddy race trail,
but he still had the lead.
Shelby was slow and steady. “The mud, slime and slippery savanna is just my speed!”, said
When he reached the middle of the trail, Speedy has some problems and fell. The trail was
muddy, lumpy and slick and his paw got stuck in a rut and he tumbled off the path and
rolled down a small hill into a deep, wet hole. The hole was so deep that Speedy could not
climb out by himself. He would really need some help.
Several hours passed and Shelby was at the end of the trail at the finish line. The sables,
servals, sitatungas and springhares cheered Shelby at the line. Sammy the elephant shrew
announced the Shelby the winner of the race. Sammy asked hours later, “Where is
Speedy? He should be back by now!”
They all looked for Speedy and finally found him and helped him out of the hole.
“I guess I’ll have to get that spinach, strawberry, sunflower seed salad with the sassafras
soda.”, said Speedy.
“I will get you a strawberry smoothie for being a gracious loser!”, said Shelby. “Remember
when you plan a race, don’t forget to include the weather. The wet, the mud and the slime
help me slither and that is how I became the winner.”