Updated: Jan 6
At school, Rachel the Rabbit was well-known for being top of the class when it came to sports. She was a fast runner, she was great at high jump, and everyone wanted her on their team at baseball practice. Well, everyone apart from Fifi the Fox.
Fifi wasn't the best at sports, and was often last to be picked for the baseball team. The interesting thing was, she always watched her big brother play baseball growing up and wanted to be great at sport, just like him. But she found it hard to be like him, and would often give up after a while, thinking it just wasn't meant to happen.
On the school field the children gathered for baseball practice, and Fifi was filled with fear that she would be picked last, again. Billy the Bat and Rachel the Rabbit were team captains and it was down to Fifi the Fox and Lara the Llama who were left to be picked. Billy called Lara’s name and Fifi’s head dropped with a big sigh that she was last again. Rachel smiled at Fifi and waved her over to join them. Fifi dawdled over to join Rachel’s team and hid at the back behind everyone so not to be seen. Fifi didn't really like Rachel the Rabbit, as she was good at everything, everyone liked her, and Fifi just found that annoying.
It was Fifi’s turn to bat and she had already missed the ball twice. Billy the Bat shouted “A third strike and you’re out, Fifi!” Fifi rolled her eyes at Billy’s comment and took a deep breath in preparation for her final attempt. The pitcher threw the ball and Fifi’s bat met the ball with an almighty WHACK! She had hit the ball, she couldn’t believe it.
“Run, Fifi, run!” shouted Rachel and the rest of her team. Fifi suddenly realised this was her moment, her time to shine. She ran as quick as her legs could carry her to first base, and then on to second base. Fifi was overjoyed that she had hit the ball, this was a first for her.
“Keep going, Fifi!” shouted one of her team mates, but she froze and didn’t think she could make it any further.
Billy’s team were taking a while to fetch the ball, and Fifi's team mates continued to yell at her to keep running. She was proud to have hit the ball, but she was also worried about running too far just in case they got her out. So she decided to play it safe and remained at second base.
The game ended with Billy’s team winning, but only by one point. A few of Fifi’s so-called team mates were blaming her for the fact they had lost. On the way back to the changing rooms she overheard one of them say “If only Fifi had kept running like we were telling her to, we would have won!”
Fifi felt like she couldn't win, no matter what she did. Rachel the Rabbit caught up to Fifi and congratulated her on her batting skills. “Whatever, I should have kept running it seems” sighed Fifi.
“Oh ignore them, they are just annoyed we lost by one point” explained Rachel. “Did you see how hard you hit the ball today, that was a great effort, you should be proud of yourself!”
Fifi gave half a smile and muttered “I can’t win, I finally hit the ball but it doesn't seem to be enough. Will I ever be good enough?”
Rachel put her hand on Fifi’s shoulder and said “We all have to start somewhere, and we only get good if we practice. The trick is not to give up”. Rachel smiled at Fifi and then walked on ahead.
Fifi paused a moment to think about what Rachel had said. Maybe she was right. Or maybe she just didn't want to hurt her feelings. She shrugged her shoulders and continued her walk back to the changing rooms.
After getting changed they all gathered in the hall with Mr Fletcher, the PE teacher. “Well team, that was a great practice today. Rachel’s team were very close and I think Fifi might be one to watch in the future.” smiled Mr Fletcher “That swing of yours reminded me of your brother, Finlay.”
Fifi blushed and looked at Rachel with a bashful smile. Maybe she was right after all, maybe she could be as good as her brother one day. All she had to do was keep practicing.
Before they left the hall Fifi made an effort to go and speak to Rachel again. “Thank you so much for helping me realise I am better than I thought, I was starting to think I would never be good enough.” said Fifi. “Anytime, practice makes progress.” smiled Rachel.
As Fifi began to walk home from school that day, she put her hands in her shorts pocket and felt something that wasn’t there before. It was a piece of paper. She unfolded it and realised it was a note from Rachel the Rabbit. She knew this because it had her signature bunny doodle below her note which read “Believe in yourself!” Fifi smiled and realised that Rachel wasn't annoying after all, she was good at everything because she never stopped trying. That day Fifi realised she had made a new friend, and that in time she would get better at baseball, she just needed to keep practicing.