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There were once two tall trees standing in the middle of a large, open field. They were tall and strong, like Oak trees, they could weather anything. Around these two trees a small colony of animals and insects chose to live. As time drew on, the place grew in popularity for it was beneath the shade of the trees in the mid‑day, and at night when the air grew chill, the tree trunks had soaked up enough warmth to last them through the night. The small colony grew into a large, bustling space, taking up about half of the field. After awhile, they decided that too many bad things were happening, so they decided to set up some rules, and some people to make and enforce the rules. Well, the positions were filled quickly and with much enthusiasm. However, the Chief Rule‑maker position was still open for hire. The two people whom the animals felt most deserved this title were chosen. The always fair Praying Mantis, who knew what to do to get things done, and the vulture, who scavenged for what he could get and made the best of things. They were chosen and they were to run a race. But it wasn’t a race with a finish line, and it wasn’t about who was faster; this race was about whom the animals and insects liked more. At the end of the race, the competitor with the most flower petals won. At the beginning of the third day of August, the race began and the competitors went their separate ways. The vulture flew high into the sky and upon seeing a group of animals or insects would fly down and speak to them about what he believed should be done. He talked about the planting of flowers, the building of homes, the education of the maggots and other young creatures. As he was doing this, he was collecting flower petals from the insects and animals. He had a great deal of flower petals in his bag as he flew up to find the next group. The Praying Mantis was a cunning insect, and knew how to get what he wanted. He was wise in ways that many shouldn’t be, but he was very kind, and generous to society, why once he had even stopped to take the candy away from a baby (to stop it from rotting it’s new feelers, of course).While the vulture had been out speaking to people, the Praying Mantis also spoke to people. He spoke of battles, and honey, and he kissed all of the little maggots, and he collected his flower petals. Soon he grew tired of speaking in front of people and trying to come up with things to say to make them happy, he devised a brilliant little plan. The praying mantis would get flower petals from the flowers growing around the tree, and then he would WIN! When he had hundreds upon hundreds of dandelion petals in his bag, he began to walk back into the center of the field. As he was walking back, a small slug slid up and ate two of his petals. It just so happened that this was right as the praying mantis was walking into town, and who should see this act but his brother‑in‑law. His brother‑in‑law, the local chipmunk, automatically alerted the entire city and all of its inhabitants. The vulture, being a mean, and indiscriminate animal, was not happy when the chipmunk called for a counting of the flower petals. After the initial counting, it was said that the vulture had won. The chipmunk and the praying mantis were outraged at this fact. All through the night, they sat up and talked about how it was probably the vulture who had put the slug up to eating the two flower petals, or you know what? It could have been more than that! Maybe the flower petals had been stuck together! To think how that ungrateful, rude, conniving vulture could do such a thing enraged the chipmunk into calling a midnight revote of all of the animals and insects in the area where the slug had eaten the votes. The next morning the new votes were recounted, and due
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Plant morphology, Plant reproductive system, Pollination, Mantis, Vulture, Flower, Petal
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