A TANGERINE that once lived in a garden really loved working out. Above all, however, he loved the skipping rope and lost little chance to enjoy a refreshing work out early in the morning. The other fruit and vegetables were, on one hand, jealous of his energy, yet on the other, made fun of him as they didn’t consider the skipping rope as serious exercise.
Things changed when, one day, they thought of organizing a winter safari in the snowy garden: they would split in teams, observe all the animals and insects of the garden, then gather together and note down their findings in a big book. The team to win would be the first to find the finish line marks, which were hidden in the snow. So it happened.
On the day of the safari, however, our good tangerine happened to be in the same team with two blood oranges that were very jealous of him and wanted to hear nothing of his swiftness. “You won't have a chance out there”, they threatened him as soon as they far away from the other fruit and vegetables and tripped him so that he would not be able to run.
Our good tangerine was left helpless and alone, crying in the snow. After the two blood oranges had gotten far away, however, he stood up and followed their trails in the fresh snow. A few minutes later, he thought he heard their own voices calling for help.
“What’s happened to you?”, the tangerine shouted from distance. He then saw a rat that had trapped the two blood oranges and threatened to devour them. With swift moves, the tangerine took the skipping rope out of his pocket and tied it to the branches of a tree. Afterstretching it to its maximum extent, he used it as a sling, catapulting himself and hitting the rat just about the time it was on to eat the other two fruit.
“You saved us!”, the two blood oranges exclaimed and ran as fast as they could to get away from the rat while it was still dizzy. The tangerine, then, ran towards the other side, and the rat went after him. As he had been exercising all day the past weeks, however, the rat only managed to follow him for a few minutes until it collapsed on the soft snow.
“We owe you an apology”, the other two fruit admitted as soon as they reached the finish line marks, where the other fruit and vegetables of the garden waited for him. Then they told them the story of how their friend used the skipping rope as a sling to help them save themselves from the rat’s teeth. They all burst into applause and thanked the tangerine for his achievement. Furthermore, they even apologized for looking down on him all this time.
After taking a moment to appreciate his swiftness and endurance, they also started using the skipping rope as a means of exercise so as to be more like him.