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While Bill the Platypus was hunting for shrimp one day, out of the corner of his eye, he saw the most beautiful platypus in Clyde River sunning on the riverbank. He wondered if he should swim over and introduce himself to her. It was almost June, and he hadn’t yet secured a date for mating season. He hoped she hadn’t either. He was ready to settle down, and she was the most beautiful platypus he had ever seen.
His stomach growled.
Starving, Bill sensed that there would be more prey downstream, so he decided to swim as fast as he could toward a potential shrimp feast instead of talking to her at that moment. Later, after he was full of shrimp, he swam back toward the riverbank in hopes that the most beautiful platypus was still there.
But, she was gone.
The next day, Bill worked out with his friend, Jack the Platypus. Bill was training for the Australian Olympic team. His fastest speed was 31 km/hr (19 miles/hour). The record platypus speed was 35 km/hr (22 miles/hr) and had been set by Oliver the Platypus, Bill’s father. Before he died, Oliver had told Bill that he wanted him to beat his record. It was the last words he would ever say to Bill. With tears in his eyes, Bill promised he would.
On his third sprint of the morning, Jack clocked Bill at 33 km/hr (20.5 miles/hr). “Whoa dude! You’re 2 km/hr away from the record! With speeds like this, you’ll certainly get a spot on the Olympic team,” Jack said. At that moment, Bill looked up and saw the most beautiful platypus again on the riverbank. He wondered if he should take a break and go talk to her.
Jack told him to swim faster.
Bill decided to keep swimming, hoping that he could talk to her later. Twenty sprints later, Bill finally beat his dad's record -- 36 km/hr (22.4 miles/hr)! Exhilarated but exhausted, Bill told Jack he was tired and headed toward his burrow for the night. He took the route home that took him by the riverbank in hopes that he would see the most beautiful platypus again.
But, she was gone.
The next day, Bill had to take a shift on burrow-hood watch duty. He and the other male platypuses from the ‘hood took turns protecting the area from the local fox, snake and croc thugs. The riverbank that the most beautiful platypus had been frequenting lately was part of his territory. He walked toward the bank hoping he would see her again. She was there. Not too good on his feet, as he approached her, he tripped. Embarrassed, he almost turned away but remembered it was the last day of May -- the last day before mating season began. He quickly regained his composure and continued his approach toward her. “Uh, hello there,” he said. She ignored him. “Hello there!” he said louder. She ignored him again. Realizing she wanted nothing to do with him, he started to turn away. She then mumbled, “Urg, men! Sheesh!”
He turned back around and said, “Excuse me?” She said, “You have seen me here for the past two days and didn’t even say hello. And now you’re ready to say hello? On the last day of mating season, you finally say hello?”
“I’m sorry. Ah, you see, I was worried I wouldn’t get to eat the first day I saw you, and I had training the next day for the Olympic trials,” he suddenly stopped talking. “Hey! Watch out!!! There’s a fox!” Creeping up behind the most beautiful platypus was a sly little fox. Bill ran as fast as he could and jumped in between her and the fox. He stuck his back foot out toward the fox. Poison sprayed out of his foot's spike and went in the fox’s face. “Aghhh! I’m blind!” said the fox. Bill turned around and watched the fox run away. He then turned back around to see if the most beautiful platypus was okay.
But, she was gone.
The next morning, Bill decided to stay in bed all day. It was June 1. He was depressed. He didn’t have a date for mating season, and it would be six long months before he could find a new one. He was ready to have his very own little platypus son or daughter to take swimming. He wanted them to beat his record. How could the most beautiful platypus disappear after I saved her life? I guess I was really a jerk for not saying hello to her in the first place.
He then heard a knock on his burrow door. He stayed in bed. He heard another knock. He reluctantly got out of bed to open the door, and the most beautiful platypus was standing there holding out a basket full of fresh fish and shrimp. “I’m sorry I left so quickly yesterday,” she said. “You see, I was embarrassed. Here I was yelling at you, and then you saved my life. If it wasn’t for your speed, I would have died. The fox would have killed me. I was yelling at you – comparing you to other men. But, you’re not like other men. You’re the fastest platypus in all of Oz!” Not sure how to respond, Bill smiled and accepted the basket that she handed him, and the most beautiful platypus said, “Well, I just wanted to say thank you for saving my life.” She started to walk away. Realizing he couldn't let her get away this time, Bill said, “Wait! Please don’t go!”
She turned around and followed him inside his burrow.
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Need for Speed