2013 Totem Head Story Contest Finalist.
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2013 Contest Finalist

Tumbling Along
Written By:   Isaiah, Chesterfield, Missouri.

So there I was caught up in a sack and thrown onto a wagon heading to Russia. Naturally a curious tumbleweed, I asked one of the many wheat kernels in the bag with me where we were going and why, and stated that I personally liked Germany well enough.

"First of all," started the kernel, "there were the religious wars of the 1600s. Us poor wheat got trampled underfoot until we could stand no more of it!" And with that he began to march and act more like a Colonel than a kernel. "Then there was the economic hardship and all the political strife. I'm happy enough to get out of there no matter where we're going!" he barked.

"Moreover," put in another kernel, "the Czarina Catherine of Russia, who is in fact actually a German Princess, has made many magnificent promises such as no taxes, no need to learn Russian, and, best of all, no military service forever! Grand enough to convince us at least, and that's for sure!" However, once we arrived I became quite frustrated because all the other seeds were tumbling out but not me! Being a small tumbleweed seed, I got caught up in the bag and had to patiently wait until the bag was shook out or refilled with wheat. After what seemed to be "at least forever" some new wheat was poured in and we were thrown onto a train heading for the coast.

"Why are we moving this time?" I inquired.

A wheat kernel named Prince explained, "Even in Russia there were wars. In the early 1800s we got caught up in the nasty Napoleonic War where we got trampled all over again. And now that pesky Alexander II did something formally called the Russification which…"

"Out with it, Prince!" cried another. "We don't care about formal terms and the like. Keep it simple for us common wheat. The facts, Prince, the facts!"

"I was getting on to that. Basically this Czar did just the opposite of all the promises, and many of us are determined to leave Russia rather than lose our liberties. We're heading for the Americas, where we will hopefully stay a little longer than one hundred years."

"One hundred years!" I cried. "You were in Russia long enough." The conversation dropped as we reflected on what fresh adventures might await us in the new country.

After an enormously exciting sea voyage of several weeks, my companions and I arrived at New York. From there we again traveled by train, this time to South Dakota. When, after a few days the wheat got dumped out, I, the patient Tumbleweed, also managed to escape the bag and, once planted, grew into a big, strong bush. As soon as the wind came, I blew away and planted my seeds in all the regions I passed through. What joy, I thought, and what freedom! This is great land of liberty where even the smallest can became planted, established, tumble along, and prosper.

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