Winners Never Quit
"I am so ready for this race!" Kavi exclaimed, preparing
her tube for the big race. She smiled and looked about the shore of Kiko Lake.
Numerous Kikos had shown up, some only there to cheer on the racers, and others
to do the actual racing. Kavi waved to a few of her friends along the shore and
they waved back. Yes. There was no doubt about it. Kavi would win this race!
"Would all racers please enter the lake at the
starting line," cried a red Kiko wearing a striped, black and white shirt. He
had a whistle hanging limply around his neck. "The races will begin shortly!"
"This is it…" Kavi muttered. Letting out a sigh,
she grabbed hold of her red and white tube and headed for the starting line.
There were many cheers coming from the crowd as the racers readied themselves.
"Go Riley!" cried one of the smaller Kikos, waving
a small white flag in her paw frantically. In bold, blue lettering were the
words, 'You're # 1!'
"You get 'em, Riley!"
Curiously, Kavi looked over in the direction
the Kiko was cheering, only to find another surly looking, Skunk one staring
right back. He rolled his eyes at the cheering Kiko before grunting, "What are
you looking at?"
"Sorry," Kavi mumbled, facing forward. There
was no need to be rude… Everyone fell silent as the referee from before stepped
behind the starting line. Confidently, he puffed out his chest and smirked at
"Alright, so you're all familiar with the rules,"
he called out to the determined racers. "No pushing, shoving, dunking, or physical
contact of any kind while racing! This means the only way you can touch each
other is if your tubes bump into one another on accident. Second, no paddles,
flippers, oars, or anything else to help you cheat! Your only paddles
are your arms.
"And third," he turned to the crowd. "Do not
help the racers in any way, or distract them in any way! Are we clear?"
There was a loud, excited cry from the crowd.
Smiling, the referee nodded, placed his whistle in his mouth and raised a paw
high in the air.
"On your mark…"
The racers plopped themselves on top of their
tubes, looking ahead with determined faces.
One by one, the racers placed their paws in the
water, ready to paddle their ways to victory. The atmosphere was tense. The
referee brought down his paw and blew the whistle. And the racers were off…
Every single racer, all twelve of them, were bumping each other this way and
that, whether it be on purpose or on accident. In the lead was the Skunk Kiko,
Riley. Oh, no you don't, thought Kavi, splashing some water into another
racer's face. This race is all me!
She paddled her paws as fast as they would allow.
She loved the cool feeling she would get every time her paws went under the
rushing water. The current only helped to speed things up. Speed things up…
As if on cue, one of the smaller, bonus currents popped up in front of Kavi,
and wearing a smirk, she paddled into it.
She had a strange sensation as the water sent
her straight up to Riley's side. He looked sideways at her incredulously.
"What are you looking at?" Kavi chuckled,
paddling forward. Riley wrinkled his brow and plunged forward. The two were
nose to nose. All of a sudden, it seemed like the competition was just between
"I'm winning, and that's all there is to it!"
Riley snapped, bumping her tube aside. Kavi nearly lost her balance. No way!
He was breaking the rules! Once more, Riley bumped her, only this time harder.
Kavi regained her balance again and bumped back. No one messed with her!
"What makes you think you can win?" she asked
him bitterly over the loud rushing of the water. "How do you know you'll win?"
"Because I'm a winner, and winners never quit!
I will win this race, and you're not taking the glory away from me!"
With that, Riley gave her one last bump, causing
her to spin around in the opposite direction. Kavi let out a frightened cry
as she spun all the way into the opposite side of the lake where it split into
two streams. Riley let out a cold laugh and continued on, soon followed by other
Kavi couldn't regain control of her tube! It
was spinning much too fast! She held on for dear life, spinning round and round.
Her brain rattled in her head. Was this it? Was she going to lose the race?
No. Kavi promised herself she'd win, and she'd do just that. After a few more
moments of spinning, Kavi tried desperately to make her way to the side of the
river. A very unwise idea… Sure, Kavi's tube had ceased its head throbbing spinning,
but soon something else came into view: a masked Kiko standing on the shore.
In his paws, he held a bow and arrow. Oh boy…
Surely he wouldn't shoot a little girl? He proved
Kavi wrong. Quickly he knocked his arrow and aimed for her tube. Get out
now, Kavi, she told herself, pushing off the shore in panic. Hastily, she
began to paddle harder than before, eager to get away. Something whizzed by
her ear. He had missed her by an inch… The Kiko muttered something to himself
angrily and picked up another arrow that sat at his side. But by the time he
had readied it, Kavi was out of shooting range… Well…at least out of his shooting
range. As Kavi paddled further along the stream, she saw several other Kikos
with bows and arrows…
Kavi began to think that losing this race was
the least of her troubles.
"This race is getting nuttier by the moment,"
Kavi muttered nervously, feeling rather small and defenseless. As the Kikos
shot their arrows, she ducked and dodged as best as she could, suddenly wishing
more than ever that it all could end. She looked ahead, swerving out of an arrows
way; the point where the two streams merged once more was a little ways ahead,
and rushing into that point and surging forward were the other racers. She could
still win this thing…
Quickly, Kavi plunged forward. SMACK!
One of the arrows hit its target on Kavi's left. Oh no! Kavi's tube began to
deflate, making bubbles in the water. She could hear the Kikos laughing at her
flabbergasted expression. Kavi, who refused to give in so easily, made to paddle
a bit further. She was just barely out of the stream… Yet another arrow pierced
her tube, causing more deflating and more bubbles.
"No!" Kavi cried, paddling further. She glanced
back bitterly at the Kikos, but somehow, they had disappeared from the shore
completely… Heart beating fast, Kavi slipped off her tube and began to swim
the rest of the way to the other racers. Would she be disqualified if she swam?
Kavi didn't care anymore, even if all the racers were far ahead of her. She
just wanted out. Just when she thought things couldn't get any worse, the water
she was swimming in had somehow turned a murky greenish color.
Annoyed, she sighed and looked around at the
water. No wonder it was green! There were all kinds of junk and trash in here!
Shuddering, Kavi continued on. The smell was
unbearable, there were flies buzzing noisily around large clusters of garbage…and
there was a noise… Kavi couldn't explain it, but it sounded like someone gurgling…like
a drain. Kavi turned her head this way and that to find the source of the noise,
but saw nothing. Shrugging, Kavi went on, but soon felt something pull her back.
Some sort of force from behind… It was then that Kavi noticed what she had swam
into: a whirlpool.
"No!" she screamed, trying with all hr might
to swim away, but the force was too strong. She felt herself beginning to sink
down a bit.
"No, no, no!"
The water was rising to her mouth now… She was
going to drown! Kavi's eyes became wide with horror. She had to give up. She
had to give in… Something poked her in the side. Kavi tried to turn to see what
was poking her; someone had stuck out the thickest branch she had ever seen.
"Grab on!" yelled a voice from the shore. Someone
was rescuing her! Without hesitation, Kavi grabbed hold onto the branch, and
allowed herself to be lifted from the whirlpool. When she was able to swim freely
once more, Kavi made the rest of her way to the shore, breathing heavily.
"Of all the pets…" she muttered when she reached
the shore. Riley helped her clamber onto land to dry off.
"I thought you were in the lead," Kavi said to
him once she got herself together, a small smile across her lips. He sighed
and shook his head, smiling as well.
"I heard you scream and looked back, so I turned
around and went off to the side…"
"You could've won! You didn't have to quit!"
Kavi exclaimed, frowning slightly. Riley chuckled and shook his head once more.
"I didn't quit the race, exactly. There's always
The two began to walk along the shore, keeping
a safe distance away from the very edge.
"Anyway," Riley added with a shrug. "I know I
would've gotten across the finish line anyway, so in a way I already won. Besides,
winners never quit…"