03 August 2010

The Pittsburgh Short Stories (#8)

Photo courtesy of Solan Renolen

Grekko the Snail and the Sweet Gum Tree
written by:
Justice Andrew
Shelby Ann
Auntie Di

Once upon a time in a deep dark forest lived a giant snail by the name of Grekko. Now Grekko was a quiet snail, living alone on the bark of his favorite tree, the sweet gum tree. Gum trees were very rare in this forest and Grekko had lived in this one for a very long time.  And this gum tree was special.  The bark of the tree tasted like strawberries and the leaves were the colors of a rainbow.  Grekko was very large for a snail but he lived in a time when dinosaurs walked the forest and the very worst thing happened one day.  A TRex came crashing through the forest chasing his dinner and knocked down Grekko's gum tree, pulling up roots and breaking branches.

The poor snail suddenly had no home and had to begin a journey to find another gum tree in the great forest.  As big as Grekko was, for a snail, he still walked for days and days searching for another tree.  The only way he could tell if he had found the right tree was by tasting the bark on each one.  Some tasted bitter, some salty and some left a smoky taste on his tongue.  Many of the trees tasted old and dry and others like moldy water.  

After many days of plodding along tasting tree bark, Grekko was just about to give up and set up a new home in any old tree.  Then something caught his eye, a bright color in the distance.  He started crawling a little faster toward an opening in the forest where the sun was shining in.  As he came to the clearing, there it was...the most magnificent sweet gum tree he had ever seen.  It's bark was a dark dark brown and the leaves were all the colors of a rainbow and then some.  The tree was so tall and so big around that nothing would ever be able to knock it down.  The last test was a taste.  Grekko licked the tree bark and sure enough, sweet strawberries!  He climbed the tree and found a small hole to crawl into, thinking this would be the perfect place to call home.

As he crawled deeper into the tree and turned a corner, he found himself looking into the eyes of hundreds of other snails.  And as he looked closer, he recognized some of the other snails as some of his family that he had not seen since he was a tiny snail.  They had all found their way to the best sweet gum tree in the forest.  From that day on, all of the snails lived happily together and safe from harm.

[My co-authors again wrote most of this story.  Their imaginations, their words.  All based on another photo provided by our beloved friend Solan .   I don't think he realizes what he has done for me and for two little children who now love to write, all because of his photography.  This is #8 in the series and we hope to do many more with him. Thank you dear Solan. ]

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