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Polly Poogle's Amazing Race


by skweebz

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"Wow...! Look at them run!"

     exclaimed Polly, watching the annual Poogle Race from the sanctity of her home. An avid enthusiast of becoming a world-famous racer, Polly dreamed that one day she would contend in a top-ranking race where only the strongest and fastest Poogles competed. Her mother and father would always sit right beside her during each race, proud of their daughter and the fiery passion she kept within her to run. Polly's eyes glistened with excitement each and every time she would watch each race from start to finish, and her parents nurtured that passion. There was only one thing that stood in Polly's way of competing, and that was her confidence. She was a shy, soft-spoken Poogle who was always loyal and caring to her friends, but when it came to gym class, Polly would just watch her classmates race on the track, for the other Poogles would gather and watch, cheering on their fellow classmates.

     "Polly, you watch them run with such focus! Don't you want to run with them, too?" asked her friend, Pelly.

     "W-well, yes... But, I don't think I'm ready yet..." stammered Polly, trying to end the topic to continue watching them race without questioning.

     Soon, gym class ended, and Polly had returned to her class. As always, she would watch her winded, panting classmates return from the track with such admiration, her heart would flutter as if it were she, herself that did the running. "I have to run... I know I can do this." she whispered to herself almost silently.

     What Polly's classmates didn't know was that on the weekends and also the weekdays before her classes started, Polly would wake up an hour early every morning and eat a balanced meal with her parents, then begin to do leg and arm stretches for 10 minutes, just as her heroes did before going outside to run, and sprint. Luckily, her backyard held many acres of land which gave Polly all the freedom she needed to run on all kinds of different terrain; muddy ground, soft grass and gravel, much like the grounds of the Poogle Race Tracks. Every day, Polly would challenge herself to run for longer periods of time, and clock how fast she could circle her own self-made race track. She would huff and puff afterwards, realizing she had finished her lap a few seconds quicker than the last! Her progress was astounding. What Polly didn't know was that her parents would watch her from their window, ever so proud of their daughter's speed and stamina, knowing that one day, she would go on to do amazing things way beyond her wildest dreams.

     "*Huff...huff...* Phew... I'm getting a little faster...!" Polly panted, realizing she would be a little late to her first class. "Oh, no! My perfect attendance!" She cried. Rushing on her school clothes, Polly miraculously made it to her class, still winded from her running. Her classmate Pelly giggled as she saw her stressed-out friend make it to her desk.

     "Wow, Polly, you look exhausted!" Pelly giggled. "Are you alright?"

     "*Huff*... Yeah! I was almost late, so I had to hurry... I'm okay!" Polly reassured her.

     "Wow... with that determination to run to your class, you should be running with your classmates at the gym!" she kidded Polly with a little wink before getting her books out of her bookbag.

     (Oh, yeah... that's right...) Polly thought to herself. (Ugh... today's training went so well. I suppose it couldn't hurt to try racing with them today... b-but... everyone will be watching...) She felt her heart beat faster, and her little paws became clammy. Luckily, their teacher entered the class to begin her lesson, which distracted and calmed Polly from the impending gym class. Would today be the day she finally raced with her classmates? Her thoughts swam with scenarios and possible outcomes. (I have to do this... I WILL do this...!) She kept telling herself. As each class ended, Polly became increasingly more nervous. She had always been an incredibly imaginative Poogle, always retreating to her mind to daydream and entertaining scenarios, for it helped her understand and solve her situations and problems better.

     Finally, lunchtime came. One period before the gym. Polly and her classmates had only 45 minutes to sit and eat their lunches, chat, and shuffle over down their hall and downstairs into the gymnasium. She was so nervous, that she could barely eat the super-nutritious lunch she had packed for herself for her big day. Pelly always sat next to her; they were best friends after all!

     "Polly, you've been acting strange today... Is everything okay?" Her worried friend asked.

     "Wha- Oh, yeah! Everything's fine, why do you ask?" answered Polly in a nervous, rushed manner, her mouth filled with the tasty food she had prepared. A bit of that food flew out onto the table from Polly's nervousness, only to which Pelly giggled. Polly blushed, continuing to chew her food.

     "O-kay... but you're acting weird, I can tell!" smiled Pelly. It was almost as though she knew Polly was about to do something she normally wouldn't. Pelly was a smart Poogle, like Polly. She had known her since kindergarten, so she was excited for gym class. Pelly had already worked out what was going on, but decided to play naive and let Polly focus.

     Chomp, chomp, chomp... sluuuurp. Soon, Polly's meal had been finished and her Meepit Juice Box had been cleared. Her heart raced, just like her heroes she'd watch on TV. The bell finally rang, which made Polly's heart sink. (Okay... alright, Polly... Let's do this. You are brave. Oh, gosh, I'm so nervous...!) Her inner voice exclaimed to her. She got up with Pelly and they both walked together downstairs to the gymnasium. Before long, Polly was in her gym t-shirt and shorts--something one never changes into unless they intend on running outside on the tracks. Pelly squealed with excitement, seeing how good her friend looked in racing attire.

     "Polly!!! You're REALLY going to race today?!" she squeaked, but realized she had asked a little too loudly, for her and her classmates were already on their way outside to the track.

     "SHHH!!!! Quiet!!" Polly blushed, a few of her classmates looking back at the commotion behind them.

     A classmate and fellow racer, Paulie Poogle looked beside him and noticed Polly in her uniform. (Wow... she finally is going to race with us. I knew she would. She watches us run like a hawk every day, I knew she could do it.) Paulie was so proud of his classmate, but lacked the courage to congratulate Polly's bravery. He turned back around, smiling. "I can't wait to see what she's got," he whispered to himself, feeling a spark of excitement and nervousness for his classmate. Paulie had grown a bit bored of racing the same Poogles from his class. He would constantly finish in the top 3 each day. He had always been a very fit and active Poogle and would always admire Polly's passion for racing, even though he never saw her run.

     Polly's heart raced. She did 5 minutes of her leg and arm stretches, for the gym teacher gave them a little less time to prepare than Polly gave herself every morning before classes.

     Finally, the moment had arrived. Polly gulped, then slapped her cheeks with both paws a few times roughly to snap her out of her fears. She stood up straight, and pranced to the track.

     "WOOHOO!!!! GO, POLLY!!!" screamed Pelly from the stands, making Polly instantly blush.

     Polly looked back at Pelly and winked, feeling a new air of confidence about her. This new feeling exhilarated her. She then heard a few other voices in the stands clammering.

     "Is that Polly Poogle!?? She can race?! Oh, my goodness!!! GO, POLLY!!! WE'RE ROOTING FOR YOU!!!" a few of her classmates cheered. This caught the attention of more of her classmates in all the commotion. Before long, Polly had almost half of her class cheering for her, making her blush a deeper red.

     Polly lined up alongside Paulie and her other classmates, taking a deep breath. Feeling her courage beside him, Paulie looked over to Polly and smiled. "Hey, it's great to have you here. Don't be nervous, let's have a good race! I always knew you would join us one day," he said, unable to contain his smile.

     "W-what? O-oh, I... Thank you!!" Polly smiled, getting back into her intense focus that she would always return to before running.

     "Okay, Poogles! On your marks, get set..." her gym teacher began.

     Polly took her familiar running stance, looking straight ahead with great intensity.

     "GO!!!" shouted her teacher.

     With an amazing display of power, Polly leapt forward, springing off of her back paws and beginning her run. (Don't look at your classmates. Stay calm. Look ahead and keep your pace.) She told herself in her head. The only Poogle that had been closest to her was Paulie, who had been only a few feet behind her. Polly's legs and arms blazed with nervous energy as she ran. In the midst of all the cheering and panting, she heard a "Wow...!" from Paulie who was now at least 10 feet behind her. Polly was nearly halfway through the race track when she realized how far behind most of her classmates were. This reality thrilled her, and forced more adrenaline into her little body. She had no time to react to her classmates, but instead began to run even faster with her newfound excitement. Finally, she had lived the reality she would watch endlessly on TV with her parents, knowing the full rush and excitement of being a racer. It felt only like a brief few seconds, but in a little over 2 minutes time, Polly had already finished the track and ran a quarter of a mile, stopping to huff and puff, realizing she had sprinted the last half of the distance, going a little overboard. Through all the adrenaline, her classmates' excited screaming and her panting, the other racers finally caught up, equally panting. Paulie was speechless, but so proud of his classmate.

     "Polly...!!! You were incredible!" Paulie panted, running over to her to pat her shoulders. This made Polly blush, for she was a little too winded to reply right away.

     Pelly came running onto the track, squealing with joy. "I knew you would do it! I knew you would be amazing!!" She screamed, giving her best friend the proudest hug she had ever received. Polly even noticed her gym teacher's mouth wide open before she composed herself and shouted, "All right, Polly!!! I knew you had it in you!"

     Polly's classmates and racers all came over to her, overwhelming her with joy and excitement. So many hugs, so many high fives! Was this the feeling that she had always dreamed of after finishing a race? No... it was a thousand times better! Polly had shocked her entire class and gym teacher all in one day. If they only knew how long she had been training for this day, and for this sport...

     Before long, gym class came to an end. At last, the cheering and clammering quieted down, and Polly would even become the talk of her class for the entire week after that day. Polly and Pelly finally walked out of school, her friend humming and prancing with excitement for her best friend's newfound bravery.

     "My friend is the coooolest~!" Pelly sang, bobbing her head back and forth as she pranced home with Polly.

     "Hey...! S-stop it..." Polly blushed, the entire day feeling like a blur. "Thank you, Pelly... for everything. I know you knew what I had planned today... but you kept me focused on what I needed to do, and didn't make a big deal out of it. You are the best friend a Poogle could ever ask for." Polly said with a huge smile, and a blush that never seemed to quit.

     Pelly smiled from ear to ear, then hugged Polly before saying one last congratulations and heading to her home. "See you tomorrow, my awesome best friend!!!" Pelly shouted, now a little bit down the street from her.

     Polly waved back. Once Pelly turned back around, Polly's eyes stung a little bit from all the craziness of the day and happiness that started to rise up, overwhelming her. She sniffled, refusing to cry. Wiping her eyes, she took a deep sigh. She couldn't wait to run home and tell her parents everything that happened that day. She had won the hearts of her classmates, once finding her to be a shy, polite Poogle, now a shy, polite Poogle with amazing speed and stamina! Finally on her street, Polly raced down to her house, the moment of the race replaying in her head over and over again. She opened the door, took a deep breath and shouted,

     "Mom!!! Dad!!! I'm home~!"

     Her parents welcomed her warmly, wondering what the commotion was all about.

     Polly had told them everything, down to every last detail as their parents looked at her twinkling eyes and newfound energy with their mouths hanging open in shock. Her parents, being emotional like Polly was, stifled tears and both hugged her. They were the proudest parents a Poogle could ever hope to have.

     "We're so proud of you, honey. Your father and I waited day after day to hear about this moment. You were amazing, and you always were amazing," her mother said weepily, trying to compose herself. This made Polly's eyes well up with tears too.

     "So, my little Poogle Racer, what are your plans tomorrow?" her father asked her, unable to contain his smile.

     Polly thought for a moment, but already knew her answer.

     "Wake up, warm up, go back to school and race again!" she screeched, a determined look on her face.

     The End.

 
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