Hey… there she is! What’s wrong? She’s limping… she must have injured her hoof! Oh no! Where was I?! Why wasn’t I there to help her?! I could have caught her when she fell! I wonder how she got hurt? Maybe she tripped on a crack in the sidewalk? Or stumbled when stepping off the curb? Or maybe she’s a gymnast? Yes, she’s a gymnast, a world-class gymnast… and she was hurt performing a dangerous dismount… but managed to stick the landing… and her team won the meet… and she took the gold! Yes, that’s it. I’m sure that’s it. Wow, that Lizzy is really something!
What’s this? said Blurtso, pawing up a marble. Wow… an aggie! and here’s another… an opal, and a cat’s eye, and an oxblood, a turtle, a ruby, and a steely! Let’s play keepsies! he said, scattering the ducks in a circle he drew on the ground. If I could just knuckle down, he thought, pressing his hoof into the sand. O.k., here goes… bull’s eye! he said when his taw knocked a duck off the pond. Now I’ll go for that granddaddy… bingo! Now I’ll get that peawee… bang! Blurtso continued to shoot, striking one duck after another until the circle was clear. Hmmm, he said, feeling as empty as the empty circle, maybe I shouldn’t have won all the marbles.
Blurtso? said Alex. Hmm? said Blurtso. Why are you hiding? Because of the people, said Blurtso. The TV trucks? said Alex, and reporters and paparazzi and helicopters? Yes, said Blurtso. Why are they here? said Alex. I competed in my first meet today, said Blurtso. And? said Alex. And I jumped 276 meters, said Blurtso. So? said Alex. It was a new world record. Oh, said Alex.