The Skateboard Race

children story ©Andrés Díaz Marrero
Translated with the help of Miriam Marcano,
Adriana Horta

Mr. Concho Frog called all the animals of the forest to a meeting. Once they had all gathered, he made an announcement: "There is going to be a skateboard race next Sunday. It will be at ten o' clock in the morning. All of you are welcome to register for the race. There is a prize for the winner…"

"What will the prize be?" asked a bird called Crane.
"The prize will be a trip around Puerto Rico with all the expenses paid. The trip will include Vieques and Culebra islands," answered Mr. Concho Frog.
"I want to get the prize," said the red tail hawk.
"We shall see who wins the race," replied the sparrow.
"I have already started training for the match," said the owl to the lizard.

They all talked to one another, each one claiming to be the winner of the race. The meeting lasted until it was time to go home. The next morning, at sunrise, the forest was filled with voices and skateboard sounds. Some were riding their skateboards, while others were oiling the wheels and repairing the board. They all were very busy and excited. Well, most of them, because the parrot neither has a skateboard nor did she know how to ride it. The parrot heart was full of sorrow. She was alone on her nest when she heard the call of the hummingbird. "Hi, parrot," said the hummingbird.
"Hi, how are you? She answered in a soft, sad little voice.
What's wrong? why aren't you practicing for the race? The parrot told her grief to the hummingbird.

She was so sad that her eyes were filled with tears. "Come on, parrot, don't cry. We have plenty of time to prepare for the race. We are six days ahead. I will lend you my skateboard and teach you how to use it." said the hummingbird. "But, what about you"? asked the parrot.
"I can't be on the race that day because I have to be with my wife. She is hatching three eggs and, you know…" replied The hummingbird.
"You are really a good friend!" said the parrot with joy.

With love, patience and care the hummingbird trained the parrot to ride the skateboard. The day before the race he told her: "I see that you have learned to ride the skateboard quite well. Now, the big secret! I will show you how to ride it faster."
"Good. because I really need it."
"Look, all you need to know is how to move your wings like this." We all know that the hummingbirds are expert moving their wings. Thus, we can imagine that the hummingbird taught her well. The day of the race there were twenty competitors. I will not name them all. However, I can tell you that the biggest was the red tail hawk and the smallest was the ladybug.They were ready and set. The go signal was given. A cheer went up and they all started running as fast as they could. The ladybug took the lead. At the end of the first curve, the parrot, which was running fourth, saw how the red tail hawk bumped the ladybug with his wing. She was pushed away from first to third place. Then the owl shoved her away from the track on purpose. The parrot stopped to see if the ladybug was hurt.

"It's not fair! Races should be won fairly", said the parrot while helping the ladybug.
"Are you OK? " questioned the parrot.
"I am fine, It's just that I am too small…" said the ladybug almost crying.
"Cheer up and let's go back to the track. The race has not finished yet! I will help you", said the parrot.

They got back on the track. The parrot helped the ladybug gain speed by flapping her wing behind her. One after the other the contestants were left behind. Right at the finish line a sudden zoom wiped the red tail hawk's smile from his face. It was the ladybug, passing by his side at speed of light. Shortly after the race was over, Mr. Concho Frog announced the finishing order.

"And the winner is... the ladybug! Second place goes to the parrot, Third place to the red tail hawk, Fourth place…"

Well, let's just skip the finishing order and see how the story ends.

"Thank you, parrot, for helping me win the skateboard race. Without your help I would not have made it", said the ladybug.
"It was a pleasure", replied the parrot, with a smile, as she remembered someone had helped her. "Come, let's visit a friend."

They went to the hummingbird's nest. There they found him and his wife pleased with the arrival of their birdies.
children story

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