The Rigged Race

Ronaldo let loose a scalawag smile
As he knew full well he’d win by a mile
The race against the lean Antoine LaCirque
The mean and crazy raisin-farming jerk

The rowdy town crowd yelled loyal and loud
All hoping that Ronaldo’d make them proud
By knocking the smug smile right off LaCirque
And putting the raisin monger out of work

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The town loathed Antoine and hated his tax
Which set a high price for all of his snacks
But because their town was so raisin-crazed
He cruelly raised his raisin price unfazed

Ronaldo grew grapes at the grape farm next to ‘em
And sold grapes to LaCirque to make raisins from
But since grapes only grew during one season
LaCirque controlled the market beyond reason

 In fact, it was this tension that birthed the race
That pitted both farmers with these high stakes:
Both farms to the man who finishes first
And expulsion to he who finishes worst

LaCirque sat stretching his pale spindly arms
Eager to win and take the grapes from Ron’s farm
He didn’t fear losing or leaving town for good
(Like half the town already thought he should)

A yell of “Ready!” filled the chilly air
On “Set!” Ronaldo whispered a silly dare
“So, Antoine, how about we have some fun
And use just one of our legs for the run?”

 Sly Antoine agreed with glee and a grin
His long legs alone guaranteed a win
And with it came something better than first place
A sour-patch look on Ronaldo’s face

 The air horn sounded and the race flag dropped
And Antoine bounded ahead with a hop
His limbs flapped around him, he slipped and he slid
His movements likened to some sort of land squid

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Ronaldo talked with the crowd and shook hands
His bellowing laugh belying his plan
As LaCirque kept his left leg up and raised
When, the crowd wondered, would Ronaldo race?

 As Antoine’s right leg bobbed, throbbed and grew tight
He rounded a corner, and into his sight
Came the race’s final stretch and finish line
… Yet still Ronaldo took his sweet time

 And then Ronaldo raced past with a flash!
By jumping from right leg to left in a dash
Past the finish line he hopped and he scotched
Leaving LaCirque and the crowd in a shock

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 There sat LaCirque, sour, whining and cross
About what he called a “cheap, sneaky loss”
He fought through the crowds while losing his cool
“Ronaldo, you toad! You broke our one rule!”

Ronaldo, amused, said, “I didn’t lie…
I only used but one leg at a time!
I alternated, of course, you could have, too
But this is the point where we bid you ‘Adieu!’”

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He watched as Antoine shuffled and sniveled
Over leaving behind his love of grapes shriveled
And giving up his farm was a dark fate
So Ronaldo called after him, “Hey, Antoine, wait!

I’ve been sneaky to you and a little unfair
So how ‘bout this now – a double dog dare
I dare you to keep your farm, but give up that tax…
And stay with me in town to make some sweet snacks!”

Antoine had gotten so caught up in competing
He’d forgotten the joys of sharing and eating
And why shouldn’t they work together to make
A company that sold both raisins and grapes?

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