by Gordon Dioxide

"I'm faster than you" said the oak tree.

"No you're not" said the elm tree "and you're at least 600 years old so you must be the slowest tree in the forest!"

"You've got Dutch Elm Disease" said the oak.

"No I haven't. It's just a cold. And I'll race you to the end of that field" said the elm, pointing to a fence in the distance.

They agreed to run the race at 4 o'clock on Wednesday afternoon, just before tea.

But when the time came, it turned out to be a great disappointment. Nobody had told the trees about their roots. All trees have roots that fix them to the ground, preventing them from taking part in any of the more active sports. Running across the field turned out to be completely impossible with those crazy twisted roots growing deep into the earth.

So they decided to have an argument instead.

Elmy the Elm said that caterpillars turn into worms and Oaky the Oak said that caterpillars turn into squirrels. They argued about this for half an hour, until eventually they decided to ask a caterpillar. They asked Pilly the Caterpillar, but Pilly said he didn't know what he would turn into as he hadn't turned into it yet.

The following morning Elmy saw a worm and said "Look! Pilly has turned into a worm. I was right!"

But then Pilly appeared, so he was wrong.

The following morning Oaky saw a squirrel and said "Look! Pilly has turned into a squirrel. I was right!"

But then Pilly appeared, so he was wrong.

The following morning, there was no worm, no squirrel and no Pilly.

The two trees were wondering where Pilly had gone.

Then they saw a butterfly.

"Excuse me Mr Butterfly" said Elmy "have you seen a caterpillar called Pilly?"

"No" said the butterfly "but my name is Pilly"

"You're not Pilly" said Oaky "Pilly is a caterpillar and one day he will turn into a squirrel".

"Or a worm" said Elmy.

"Or maybe a butterfly" said Pilly, with a grin on his face.

Then a cute little bunny rabbit called Fluffy appeared and ate Pilly the Butterfly, completely wiping the smile off his face.

Oaky and Elmy soon gave up looking for Pilly the caterpillar, and started to think about more important things. Like who could eat the most toast without being sick.

They agreed to have the eating competition at 11 o'clock on Thursday morning, just before lunch.

But when the time came, it turned out to be a great disappointment. Neither of them had hands, so they couldn't push the lever down on the toaster. Instead of hands, they had twigs, which were completely useless when it came to operating basic kitchen equipment.

So they decided to write a poem instead. It went like this ...

Elmy and Oaky were a pair of trees
That didn't eat ham but did like cheese

On Wednesday afternoon they planned a race
Only to find they were stuck in one place

They had no need of running boots
As they were stopped from moving by pesky roots

So they argued about a caterpillar

That was swallowed up by Fluffy the Killer

Their argument was very silly
And led to the end of poor old Pilly

So they turned their attention to eating toast
To see which tree could take the most

But that was the worst of their crazy plans
As neither tree had any hands

So take my advice and beware
If ever you meet this crazy pair!

Most of the poem was written by Elmy, but Oaky wrote the words.

Here are a few questions to see if you've been listening ...

1. Why did they cancel the race?
2. What did Oaky think that caterpillars turn into?
3. What did the cute little bunny rabbit Fluffy do?
4. Why did they cancel the toast-eating competition?
5. Is there a crazy tree near your house, and what do you call it?