Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Freddy's Home Run By Maura. Z

Freddy's Home RunBy Maura Zindler

The fireflies buzzed in loopy circles around the gnarled oak tree that late July evening. Freddy nestled himself inside the hole in the trunk, feeling cozy surrounded by all the crinkling leaves. Just as the tiny squirrel was drifting asleep, he was startled by a loud crack, and he felt the tree shake around him.

"What could that be?" Freddy thought in surprise. He scurried out of his nest to figure out what was the matter. Dusk was falling thicker around him, but the lights from the small stadium, which actually seemed rather enormous to Freddy, cast a yellow glow on the grass. To Freddy's surprise, he did discover what had hit the ancient tree - it was a baseball. But of course he didn't know that it was a baseball! To him it looked like a giant, white walnut practically the size of him (Fred had always been small for his age!).

Something else now caught Freddy's attention and he was entranced by a thick salty scent that no squirrel could resist: roasted peanuts. Freddy's dark eyes widened as he thought of the wonderful crunchy taste. He just had to have one peanut! Although he had tasty acorns to snack on inside the tree, he scampered off following the scent.

It wasn't long before Freddy reached the tall fence. Even though he was always warned never to jump over it, he climbed up onto the bush and leapt across. He seemed to have tossed aside everything he had learned in Squirrel School. All he wanted was roasted peanuts. Soon he would learn he had made a huge mistake.

Strong lights stared down on tiny Freddy as he realized his surroundings. He was standing timidly on a grassy field; he could see people standing out there, crouching down as if ready to pounce upon something. Suddenly, with a crack of a bat, he was startled as people began to run around much too fast for his eyes to follow. This wasn't what Freddy had expected- he'd find a peanut, and leave before anyone noticed him. The plan had been risky, and he had thought he could do it...until just now.

A voice echoed through the stadium that made Freddy nearly jump out of his skin. "Hold on folks, there seems to be an issue- we have a squirrel on the field, but give us a few moments and we can play ball!"

Freddy bolted across the brightly lit field as all eyes seemed to be following him, and now people with nets had appeared and were puffing after him. This was not what he had planned- all he had wished for was a peanut, and there was no turning back now. The crowd let out a cheer every time Freddy dodged a net in fright. Just in time, he spied just the peanut he was looking for. He leaped into the bleachers and frantically shoved the peanut under his arm. His heart beat wildly as he scanned the enormous ball park for a way out towards the wall that started this whole mess.

Freddy let out a squeak of terror as he saw a net, or atleast that's what Freddy thought it was, swoop over him. "It's all over", he thought to himself, "I should have never come". But the little squirrel didn't know he was about to meet his new friend. Before he knew it, Freddy found himself in a baseball mitt looking up at a smiling face glistening with sweat and a cap dusty from the field.

"Come on little guy, let's get you back to the forest," the baseball player said tenderly. So Freddy stared up at the man, still clutching his peanut to his chest, and watched as the big man walked them across the field. Once they reached the wall, he gently placed Freddy back onto the bush and grinned, "All because you wanted one peanut" and with that he turned around and headed towards the cheering crowd.

Freddy sat on the edge of his small nook in the tree and looked out towards the little baseball field that had seemed so gigantic to him. He sunk his teeth into the roasted peanut. His smiled faded as he realized it wasn't as good as it should have been. He sighed and then began to understand that maybe he should have been happy with all the acorns he had, and he was greedy to have broken the rules for just one peanut. "Never again will I take more than I need," Freddy said to himself and nodded in determination. Since then Freddy's life took a turn for the best.

Once in a while, the baseball player would put a bag of peanuts at the base of the tree that he imagined the tiny squirrel might live in. Freddy would invite all the squirrels in the park to share his gift. Life was ever different for the little squirrel with a big story, and he couldn't be happier.