Fred Flamingo Wants to Dance

by Iris Carden

(A children's story, specially requested by Clarissa)

"I'm bored," Fred Flamingo told his best friend Freda. "I want to do something different."

"What kind of different thing do you want to do?" Freda asked, as she lifted her beak from the water and stood up straight.

"I want to learn how to dance. Dancing would be so much fun," said Fred.

"Dance?" Asked Freda. "I've never heard of flamingos dancing."

"Oh yes," said Fred. "There's a very famous dance. It's called the Flamingo. I want to learn it."

"Excuse me," Ferdinand interrupted, "You must be mistaken. There is no dance called the Flamingo. Flamingos can't dance, they never have and they never will. You are a very silly flamingo indeed, Fred."

Some of the other flamingos laughed. 

Fred was very sad. He didn't like being laughed at. And he very much wanted to learn to dance.

"I am going to learn how to dance," he said. "I'm going to find someone to teach me how."

With that, Fred stepped out of the lake.  He started walking.  

After a while, he found a snake in a grassy place.  

"What are you doing so far away from your lake?" The snake asked Fred.

"I'm going out into the world to learn how to dance." Fred said. "I want to dance the Flamingo. Can you teach me how to dance?"

"No," said the snake. "Snakes don't dance. Snakes slither and slide but we don't dance. And flamingos don't dance either. They walk and they fly, and they dip their beaks in the water, but they don't dance."

"Well, I'm going to learn how to dance," said Fred, and he kept walking.

A little later, he met a small singing bird in a tree.

"What are you doing so far away from your lake?" The small singing bird asked Fred.

"I'm going out into the world to learn how to dance." Fred said. "I want to dance the Flamingo. Can you teach me how to dance?"

"No," said the small singing bird. "Small singing birds don't dance. We sing and we fly and we make little straw nests, but we don't dance. And flamingos don't dance either. They walk and they fly, and they dip their beaks in the water, but they don't dance."

"Well, I'm going to learn how to dance," said Fred, and he kept walking.

A little later, he met a little mouse, hiding under a bush.

"What are you doing so far away from your lake?" the mouse asked Fred.

"I'm going out into the world to learn how to dance."Fred said. "I want to dance the Flamingo. Can you teach me how to dance?"

"No," said the little mouse. "Mice don't dance. We scurry and we explore, and we sneak into human's homes to steal nice bits of food, but we don't dance. And flamingos don't dance either. What was the name of the dance you wanted to learn?"

"I want to learn the Flamingo. It's a very famous dance that humans do."

"I'm sorry, my friend," said the mouse. "I've been in human homes, and I've seen them dancing. I know the dance you're thinking of because I've seen it on a human television. It's not called the Flamingo, but the Flamenco.  It's a very nice dance, but I don't think flamingos could do it."

"Oh," said Fred. "But I really, really wanted to learn to dance."

"It's very sad," said the mouse. "I'm sorry to give you such bad news. And it's getting late now, you need to get back to your friends and your lake."

Fred suddenly missed his lake, he missed the other flamingos, especially Freda. Although, he didn't especially miss Ferdinand.

Sadly, he walked back the way he came.  

When he got to the edge of the lake, he saw something very strange was happening.

All of the flamingos were standing in a circle.  They would take two steps to the left. Then they would dip their beaks in the water two times. Then they would wiggle their tail feathers. Then they would take two steps to the right. Then they would turn around. And then they would do it all over again.

"What are you all doing?" Fred asked.

"We're doing the Flamingo!" Freda answered. "We made up a dance, just for you come and dance with us!"

Fred joined the circle. And together all the flamingos took two steps to the left, dipped their beaks in the water two times, wiggled their tail feathers, took two steps to the right and turned around. 

Fred had been right, dancing the Flamingo really was fun!

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