By Naomi Ambrose, Staff Writer
“All right then, folks, we have made our decision. Crane the Dane will have to retire.” John Jacobsen, the director of Cubbleton Academy’s mascot committee, shook his head gravely as he spoke.
Crane the Dane couldn’t believe what she had just heard.
“They’re going to replace me?” Crane muttered to herself. “How could they do this to me? After all that I’ve done for Cubbleton!” Crane was visibly shaken and hurt by the words of the committee.
“Crane could stay on if there is a way that she, or her caretakers, can prove to us that she is still relevant,” Jacobsen said.
Crane loved Cubbleton Academy and was proud to be its mascot. She was determined to show Jacobsen and the doubters that she still had it in her.
As Crane walked through the hallway in Cubbleton Academy’s recreation department, she noticed a post on the bulletin board about an annual 100-metre race for post-secondary mascots from the local community. The winner would be crowned as the number one post-secondary mascot.
“Woof, woof!” Crane said as she wagged her tail in excitement and anticipation for the race.
After two months of training, Crane was still going strong. She made sure she ate her Shaken Bacon Bits, chewed her calcium bones, and did her daily laps around the Cubbleton field.
One fateful day before the race, Crane the Dane started to get cold paws. She thought about her beloved significant other, a beautiful Yorkshire Terrier named Mr. Minx who met his untimely demise only six months prior to the race.
“You can do it, Craney. I believe in you,” Mr. Minx’s spirit said to Crane as she slept fitfully in her kennel.
The race day came, bright and sunny. Crane awoke, fully energized and motivated by Mr. Minx’s words of encouragement.
The bleachers at the local field were packed to capacity as the Mastlemore University and Tanharran College posses came to support their mascots. Magmabird, Mastlemore’s mascot, was flapping her wings as a form of exercise. Tanharran’s mascot Tantrox warmed up by stretching out her paws while letting out an intimidating roar. Crane wasn’t fazed.
Bang! The race began and the crowd went wild. Magmabird gained the lead in the beginning, but Crane quickly gained momentum. The two raced as fast as they could, neck and neck with the other. Finally, Crane emerged victorious! She was elated to win, but sad that Mr. Minx wasn’t there to celebrate with her.
While Crane’s coach hugged her, Crane heard a dog bark from the bleachers—a bark she knew all too well. It was distinctly a Yorkshire Terrier’s bark, but sadly, it wasn’t from her own Mr. Minx. Still, there was a message behind the bark that Crane the Dane knew.
“Always remember, Crane, you must prove your worth and never become complacent. Strive for excellence.”