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Grade
10

“I love my home! I love the way the trees provide shade or how the rain gives me so much water to drink! I love all the luscious grass and the plethora of room to roam!” shouted the little bison.

The little bison was racing across the ceaseless hills in his homeland. His mother adored the way he played and how he never grew tired, yet at sun break it was time to gather with the herd.

When the two got back to their herd, there was a frenzy of panic. The head bison gathered everyone together to discuss the unknown situation. He was standing in the middle of a circle the bison made, and they all stared at him with eyes wide open in distress.

“I know that most of you have heard that the squirrels want to take over our territory, but those selfish critters have no chance compared to the alliance between our neighbors and us. The bears have taken our side and we will discuss with the squirrels that there’s no need. Now get some rest, and I’ll see you in the morning.”

Except when morning came, what looked like one hundred scaly snakes were threatening all the bison with their fangs while the squirrels just sat there laughing.

“Get a move on you big blocks of fur and legs!” shouted one of the snakes.

“Mama why are the snakes forcing us to leave our home, and what happened to the bears? I thought they were going to protect us,” said the little bison.

“You’re too young to understand, but the squirrels want our land because the soil here is so rich, and it’s easy to bury their acorns. I just can’t believe the indolent bears! Those balls of fur rarely help anyone lower than themselves.”

All the bison began to walk side by side for hundreds of miles. They were all fatigued from the unsustainable pace of the journey and the lack of food, yet their biggest concern was the brutal winter that was approaching.

“Mama when do you think we are going to get to our new home? My hoofs hurt and frost is beginning to build up on my fur.”

The little bison’s mom didn’t know what to say. She was just as speechless as all the rest of the parents, and she didn’t know how much more walking the herd could take. All she wanted was a good life for her precious baby.

Along the course of a few days, one of the elderly bison grew very sick and weak, but there was nothing any of them could do about it. If they were back at their homeland, they would have the right herbs to cure him, and he couldn’t slow down because the snakes would’ve hurt him. Except later that evening, the elderly bison couldn’t walk anymore, so the snakes took him down a hill by a narrow stream, and that was the last they saw of him.

After the incident, all the animals’ spirits were running low, even the little bison’s.

“Mama, I just want to run across the hills like I used to, and dodge past the trees as fast as lightning? Do you remember that?” asked the little bison as his head drooped to the ground.

Once again his mother didn’t know what to say. She began to think of all the times his fur would fly back in the wind as his face held a smile that beamed like the sun and as wide as the moon.

“Even though you can’t run, just imagine you can,” mother bison said. “Picture in your mind that you're sprinting along this river, and that you won’t stop until you get to our new lands.”

Little bison did what he was told. To his surprise, it really helped, and he no longer contained the same sadness along the journey. A couple of the other young bison shared his ideas, but the older ones didn’t have the same imagination.

“What do you think our new home will be like? Will it be spacious with lots of trees?” the little bison asked the wise leader of the herd.

“I hate to say it, but where we’re going is really far west. Sadly, I’ve heard that there aren’t many trees there,” the head bison explained sorrowfully.

After the disappointing answer, the little bison dawdled back to where his mom was slowly walking. The leader watched in dismay because there was nothing he could do to help his friends and family that he was supposed to be protecting.

Month after month, the bison walked with heartache and despair. They were all tired, specifically mother bison, of not only losing their homeland but other bison that they loved. After a long time of helpless thoughts rolling through her head, she marched up to the head snake because she was not going to lose her baby!

“You know something snake? I should have asked you this months ago, but I was in too much shock. Where exactly are you planning on taking us or do you not even know? My herd has been walking for an incalculable amount of days with hardly any food or water through blizzards and snow!”

“What’s going on?” asked the head bison. However, mother bison ignored his question.

“Why did we have to leave? I mean what’s the point of all this!”

“Stop it mama! I’m sure we’re almost there! I don’t want them to take you away too!” yelled the little bison.

“You’re right young one,” hissed the snake. “You should teach your mom how to hold her tongue!”

The snake slapped mother bison with his tail, and she just collapsed, sobbing.

“Mama! Mama! Are you okay!”

The head bison and little bison sprinted over to his mom, and helped her up. All the surrounding bison kept quiet for the rest of the journey because of all their respect for the wounded mom.

At last, the snakes told what was left of the exhausted bison that they had reached the unknown lands where they were to stay, and all of them looked around with despondency. Where were all the trees? Where were all the lakes and streams? Where were all the other animals they grew up with? The little bison observed everyone’s expressions as he slowly approached his mother.

“Hey mama, there may not be many trees, but at least there are still an abundance of rolling hills with my name written all over it.”

With that comment, the mother bison turned her head towards the land, took in a big breath, and smiled.

State
Nebraska
Zip Code
68028