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The Great Flower Competition by Ella Commerce (Grade 3)

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The Great Flower Competition by Ella Commerce

There once were two brothers who lived on a farm. One day, their father, wishing to teach them a lesson about growing crops and about life, decided to give them a challenge. He called his sons over to him, and then he said “Boys, listen up. I have a little competition in mind."

Both of the boys listened intently as their father described the competition.

"I would like you to each start your own garden and fill it with beautiful flowers," he explained. "Here are one hundred seeds for each of you. You may use as many or as few as you like. The one who comes back to me at the end of this month with the most flowers will win a prize.”

“Sounds like fun!” said the first boy, whose name was Josh.

"I agree," replied the second boy, whose name was Nathan.

Both boys both grabbed their seeds and headed towards the backyard to begin working.

Josh got started quickly. He dug and dug until he had a large plot ready for the seeds. Next, he emptied the bag of seeds into the dirt, making sure all one hundred seeds made it onto the ground. Then, he covered all one hundred seeds with dirt and water.

Nathan, however, took a different approach. He focused on a much smaller area of land. Instead of creating a large plot of dirt, Nathan dug ten individual holes. It was a slow process. In fact, in the time it took Nathan to dig just those ten holes and make sure they were ready for the seeds, Josh buried all one hundred of his own seeds.

When the holes were ready, Nathan carefully put ten of his seeds in the ground. He left the other ninety seeds in his pocket. Josh thought his brother was being foolish.

"Why has he only chosen to only plant one tenth of his seeds?" he wondered to himself. "Did he listen to father's instructions? The goal of the competition is to have the MOST flowers at the end."

However, Josh chose not to share his thoughts with his brother. After all, he wanted to win the prize. If Nathan wanted to make a foolish decision and only plant one tenth of his seeds, so be it. He was sure he had the competition in the bag.

Over the next few weeks, the boys tirelessly tended their gardens. Josh’s garden was a huge plot with one hundred little buds poking through the dirt. He was proud of how many flowers he had, and even invited some friends from school to come see his work. When the other boys arrived, they marveled at the amount of little red flower buds popping up from the ground.

After viewing Josh's garden, the boys wandered over to Nathan’s garden. When they saw what Nathan's garden looked like compared to Josh's garden, the boys began to tease him. Nathan had only ten flowers. Even though his flowers had grown a bit taller than Josh’s, his garden looked a bit sad in comparison to Josh’s floral wonderland.

The boys' taunting hurt Nathan's feelings. He yelled at them to go away, and then went back to tending his flowers. He stormed over to the water basin to grab his pail of water. Then he began tending each flower, one by one.

Josh and the other boys, however, were Bored of the gardens. The boys asked Josh to come with them to play baseball and he readily agreed. He left his garden and Nathan, and headed out until dusk fell.

By the last day of the competition, Josh had started to gloat. He was sure he was destined to win the competition. After all, he had one hundred flowers and Nathan had only ten. However, that afternoon, a huge storm came rolled through the farm and the surrounding area. At the first crack of thunder, the boys ran outside and tried to protect their precious gardens.

Josh saw his flowers being ravaged by the wind and rain. He desperately tried to cover them in order to save as many as he could. Unfortunately, the plot was too big for his small tarp, and the flowers had not developed strong enough roots to withstand the weather. Nathan’s garden, however, was perfectly covered by his tarp, and his careful tending of his ten flowers had caused them to develop strong and durable roots.

When the storm was over, the boys ran back outside to see how their gardens held up. Out of the one hundred flowers that had been in Josh's garden before the storm, online three tiny leaves remainder. Nathan's garden, on the other hand, still held ten beautiful flowers.

The boys called their father out to see their gardens so he could determine the winner of the competition. When their father looked at the gardens, he nodded knowingly. Then he said, “Ah,I see that Nathan has won the competition."

"I would have won if the storm had not come through," Josh said. "My garden was much bigger and much more beautiful a few hours ago."

"This is an important lesson to learn," their father replied. "Opulence and quantity cannot ever compare to strong bonds. This is true for friendships, relationships, business partnerships, and as we see here, flowers. Always remember to spend your time on the ones who truly matter, and don’t waste time cultivating many relationships that are shallow and meaningless. Strong bonds grow deep because of the time and dedication put into them. These will weather the storms with you and remain strong through the tough times. The ones you have ignored and used just for surface level beauty or fun will never stay with you when it really matters.”

Josh and Nathan thanked their father for teaching them such a valuable lesson and Josh vowed to focus on building strong bonds in the future.
1. 
Which choice describes how Josh and Nathan were different?
  1. Josh was loud and Nathan was quiet.
  2. Josh was popular and Nathan was not.
  3. Josh did things quickly and Nathan took his time.
  4. Josh liked to win and Nathan did not care about winning.
2. 
Which choice(s) describes Josh's garden at the beginning of the competition?
  1. It was bigger than Nathan's.
  2. It was smaller than Nathan's.
  3. It was deeper than Nathan's.
  4. It was shallower than Nathan's.
3. 
How were the flowers Nathan grew different than the flowers Josh grew?
  1. They were much taller.
  2. They had stronger roots.
  3. They had a different color.
  4. They were a different type of flower.
4. 
Which is NOT a difference the boys faced during the competition?
  1. the size of the garden
  2. the strength of the roots
  3. the number of flowers at the end
  4. the number of seeds they were given
5. 
Choose the best word or phrase to fill in the blank.

Nathan is                   than Josh.
  1. a better son
  2. less popular
  3. more careful
  4. a better listener
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