Run Your Own Race
And a moment later, Coug crossed the finish line too, trailing a cloud of dust behind him.
Coug stopped and watched as all the students told Bixie she had done a great job and were patting her on her turtle shell back. He was still out of breath and was panting from his cougar burst of speed.
Of course, he was very disappointed and all at once he yelled, “NO FAIR! My sneakers came untied, and I had to tie them. Bixie cheated. She didn’t run this race fair and square. Bixie cheated!”
All the children looked at him. They didn’t know what had happened during the race. But they did know that it didn’t make sense that a turtle could win a running race over a cougar.
So, Coach Davis asked everyone to be quiet.
“Bixie did you see Coug having trouble along the way?” he asked.
Bixie answered that she hadn’t seen Coug anywhere along the race, but she thought she had seen his sparkling sneakers among the branches of a shady apple tree.
Then Coach asked Coug. “Is that true? Were you up in the branches of that tree?”
Coug looked at the ground. He was mad and upset, but realized that lying about what had happened wasn’t going to work.
Coug took a deep breath, looked up at Coach Davis, and answered. “I guess what Bixie said is true. I was so far ahead of her that I thought I could rest in the tree for a few minutes. Before I knew it, I had fallen asleep, and Bixie caught up and won.”
”Bixie,” Coach Davis said, “You’ve won this race fair and square. You deserve this first-place ribbon because of your persistence and your “can do” attitude.”
Coach gave Bixie the blue first-place ribbon. “Congratulations Bix. You deserve it.”
Bixie beamed with joy and couldn’t wait to show her parents the first-place ribbon! The other Kidz patted her on the back even more and told her that she had won fair and square. “Way to go Bix!”
Then Coach looked at Coug.
“Coug, here’s the ribbon for second place,” he said. “I think you know that you didn’t run the best race that you could have run.”
He handed Coug the second-place ribbon.
Instead of being happy, Coug was very disappointed. He walked away from the group and kicked the dust around him. He wanted to throw that second-place ribbon to the ground and forget about the marathon.
Second place would have been fine if he had tried. But because he hadn’t even tried, it didn’t feel like an award.
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