THERE WAS ONCE AN ORANGE in a grocery store that really loved basketball. He spent many hours in the nearby sandlot, training in his favorite sport along with his friends: the cucumber, the banana and the zucchini. No matter how hard he tried though, he never managed to win, as they were far taller than him and easily snatched the ball from his hands every time he shot the ball from afar.
“It’s not fair, as I’m not as tall as the cucumber, the banana or the zucchini”, he would say every time they won.
One day however, when he was all alone training with the basketball, a melon that also frequented the same sandlot approached him, and said: “I see great talent in you, but if you really want to beat taller opponents, you have to push a little harder”.
“You’re right, but things would be fairer if I was tall like them”, replied the orange.
“As soon as you learn what a slam dunk is, it will not be fair any more for THEM!”, exclaimed the melon, then grabbed the basketball, gave a good jump and performed a slam dunk right in front of him. The orange was so amazed with what he just saw, that he tried to do the same. As soon as his feet left the ground however, he felt the ball was heavy and barely touched the basketball net. He fell in the ground and started crying.
“I can’t even reach the net”, complained the orange, as the melon gave him a helping hand to stand on his feet again, telling him: “First you have to learn to fall, then to get up, and then to reach high”,
Then he reached for the basketball again. First he taught him how to fall and to stand up again as quickly as possible, then to jump even higher than before, and last but not least, how to reach the net and pass the basketball right through it. The orange repeated the steps so many times that he lost count. By nightfall, he learned how to move with such speed and how to perform slam dunks so effortlessly that the melon could barely catch him.
“Excellent! You ‘re a very strong player!”, told him the melon before leaving for the night. The next day that the orange met again with the cucumber, the banana and the zucchini, he gave his best self: he ran after the ball, scored and then collect the ball again from the ground with such speed that the other players were barely catching their breath. In the end, they just quit and went to grab some water.
“It’s unfair for us”, they told him. “You’re so quick because you‘re a little fellow, and we can barely ran after you”. So impressed were they by his speed that day that they asked him to teach them his tricks.
Rumor has it that when he grew up, the orange became a renowned, world class NBA player.