David S., Age 16
So you want to hear of the endless abyss, yes the bottomless pit? And, the tales of the men who built bridges over the void? So, I will tell you, but it will doubtless sound strange to you; and indeed, it is strange, for it is not often that we mortals catch glimpses of the flying pig in its full glory (unless they rewind time and repeat it…).
Oh, yes, pardon me; you wanted to hear about team initiatives. A group of weary travelers, who are not particularly weary, travel up a hill, lush with…well, with dried grass and burrs. Yet that is the least of their challenges, for they soon approach an infinitely steep cliff at the end of the abyss. There are two islands floating in the nothingness – and beyond that, the other edge. [The travelers failed to answer the questions three (‘ere the other side they see)], so they must build their own bridge with nothing more than two undersized planks, great determination and teamwork.
They face not only the great abyss, but also the king of the land (or lack thereof) who torments them with oddly specific flash bombs of a certain targeted and deadly accuracy. *Flash!* and Elliot’s voice box…disappears! The struggle is great, but the travelers learn to cope with the changes.
Soon after, another flash!…(at the unashamed and cruel request of one particularly mischievious traveler) and Rain’s eyes, once filled with the sparkle of youth, are lost forever (for the specific challenge). Another’s leg is blown off (temporarily), and he must attempt to cross the bridges with a very silly hop. And another odd occurrence… Josiah has an overwhelming desire to break into a run, at the danger of falling into the abyss. Hence, his fellows must hold him still lest he run too far and end up beyond the edge (which did happen once…). Rather, it is the start… all over again… of the whole group (teamwork!). On and on, I can tell you of the important lessons learned by the team while working together, but perhaps the most important lesson is that Superduck can fly, which means they could glide gracefully over the abyss in the embrace of his webbed feet.
Having (perhaps successfully…) overcome the first challenge, their spirits were bolstered and their bodies fixed. They soon came to a river, a river of lava with the appearance of bark. What ruler dare leave her realm in such a disastrous state?! T’was the terrible (and wonderful!) Streetlight. What means had they to cross the river? A single rope, hanging overhead on a metal branch of a tree that arched over the river. During their endeavor to cross the lava, they learned an important lesson: a good leader knows the followers and leads side by side. They learned, too, that a good leader listens; that a good team leaves no member behind; that a good team utilizes its strengths and minimizes its weaknesses with the help of the whole team. Yet these lessons took time to learn, and Streetlight hastened the approach of night with her powers. The travelers slept on the bank of the river that night and woke to another dawn fresh with opportunities and lunch. Though all these challenges seemed to them to be obstacles on their path, those same challenges became the path to the learning of important lessons and the bonding of each team member with his fellow.