The Tournament

In the middle of an enchanting forest live animals, with extraordinary characteristics.  Believe it or not, some turtles can play marbles, slugs that can hoop and many more animals that excel in some talent. Every year there is a battle to win the coveted ‘Gold Medal of Magic’.


The large open plain, which is in the middle of the forest, is surrounded by tall trees and a colorful strip of flowers. The smaller animals are busy braiding numerous flower wreaths days in advance, which are worn on their heads by the winners.


Today the time has finally come, and the teams gather at the jury, where the rules of the game are explained, and the competition can start soon.


Everyone is having a wonderful time and they enjoy the beautiful performance presented by the dancing squirrels. They dance elegantly around each other and then it is time for the juggling rabbits who skillfully keep the balls in the air. In the meantime, the spiders weave colorful threads around the competition field that will soon be used by the five competition teams.


The hooping slugs are the first to go. The team consists of Lisa, Layla and Lidia, they circle the hoops around their slender bodies. The hoops carry out all the colors of the rainbow and when the slugs elegantly rotate the hoops, they shine in the sunlight. The audience occasionally holds their breath as one of the slugs gracefully raises her hoops and catches them with precision.


Timo, Tommy, and Tara are next in line. The team is called “The Marbling Turtles,” and Tara soon takes the lead. It is an exciting competition, and the turtles walk smoothly across the playing field. The marbles bounce off the side of the track and the perfect timing of the trio adds to the tension. Deftly and with incredible speed, and that for a turtle, they let the colorful marbles roll over the smooth forest floor.


The third team consists of the rope-jumping kangaroos led by Kai, Kees and Koen. They jump at it lustily and with their colored ropes they spin wildly. Now they twist two ropes through each other, and the audience looks on breathtakingly. Who stumbles over the rope first, they wonder, but that doesn’t happen. Deftly and agilely, they jump between the ropes. They make great jumps, and their feet barely touch the ground.


With two teams to go, there is time for a break and the little ones are trying out the tricks they have been able to admire, but they soon find out that it is not as easy as they thought.


After an hour it is time for the team of the sack race giraffes. Olivia, Olga and Odile step with their long legs into the large bag, which reaches up to their necks. It’s a hilarious sight, but the agility with which they run the race evokes admiration. Their balancing act and determination amaze everyone.


Finally, it’s the turn of the stealing crows, Kasper, Koos, and Kay. With their cleverness, they show how resourceful they are in stealing and hiding their loot. This time it’s not about other people’s stuff, it’s about their own. Kasper has learned from his past mistakes and realizes that the real gain lies in friendship.

Kasper has come to that conclusion because he thought he would win a big spoil during the tournament three years ago. The participating animals suddenly noticed that their shiny objects just disappeared. One of the visitors found the stolen items in Kasper’s nest, who was sad and embarrassed: “I just wanted something shiny.”

From that day on, Kasper understood that there was always a sad owner, who missed the beautiful object he had stolen. Since then, he had assembled a team that participated in the tournament every year, not to steal but to show the others how to protect their items from stealing crows.


Now that the stealing crows have shown their skills, it is up to the jury to declare a winner. That is not easy, after all the beauty that the participants have shown.

The jury decides to do things differently this year and enlists the help of the public. Everyone can express their preference and it will be a neck and neck race between the hooping slugs and the rope-jumping kangaroos.


And the winners are?

The hooping slugs.