Tops & Bottoms

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					"Tops & Bottoms"
by Janet Stevens

An animal fantasy is a story with animal characters that behave like people. Look for
ways that Bear and Hare act like people.
Bear and Hare were neighbors, but their lives were very different. Bear had great wealth
and lots of land, but he was lazy and did not plant his fields. Hare was just the opposite.
He had no land and was poor. The only things Hare had a lot of were family and energy.
One day Hare had a clever idea. He went to Bear and offered to be business partners.
If Bear agreed, Hare would plant Bear's fields, do all the work, and give Bear half the
crop. Bear could continue sleeping while Hare worked. This sounded like a truly great
idea to Bear, so he agreed.
Hare asked Bear if he wanted the top or bottom of the crops. Bear asked for the tops.
Then he went to sleep. Hare and his family got right to work. They planted seeds and
made sure the growing plants had water.
When it was time for the harvest, they woke up Bear. "You get the tops and I get the
bottoms," Hare said. So he and his family pulled up all the ripe carrots, beets, and
radishes. They kept the vegetables and gave Bear the leaves that were on top.
Bear became angry. He said that Hare had cheated him. "Next time I will take the
bottoms," he said.
Hare agreed, and he and his family got right to work. They planted seeds and made sure
the growing plants had water. Again Bear slept while the crops grew. When it was time
for the harvest, Hare went to Bear to wake him up. "You get the bottoms and I get the
tops," Hare reminded him. So Hare and his family picked the ripe crops of broccoli,
lettuce, and celery. They took the vegetables and gave Bear the roots on the bottom.
Again Bear became very angry and said that Hare had cheated him. "Next time I will
take both the tops and the bottoms," he growled.
Hare agreed, and he and his family got right to work. They planted seeds and made sure
the growing plants had water. This time Bear was half-awake when it was time for the
harvest. Hare and his family were already busily picking the ripe crops of corn. "You get
the tops and the bottoms of the cornstalks," Hare said. "We keep the ears of corn,
because they are in the middle."
Now Bear was very, very angry. He said that Hare would never cheat him again. But
Hare had another clever idea. The Hare family had earned money from the crops they
had sold. They would be happy to buy some of Bear's fields.
Bear thought about their offer. He agreed to sell some of his fields.
Now Hare and his family grow crops on their own land, and Bear grows crops on his own
land.
Bear learned not to sleep again through a season of planting and harvesting. And
though they get along as neighbors, Bear learned another valuable lesson. He would
never be partners with Hare again!

				
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posted:1/21/2011
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