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Posted: December 2, 2009 12:01 a.m.

Two little girls

Two little girls went out to play in the sun one day. One wore a pretty yellow dress. She was tall, and she wore her hair in a pigtail.

The other little girl wore blue shorts. She was shorter, and her hair was red. She had many freckles.

It was very hot that day.

"What should we play?" asked the little girl with red hair.

"How about tennis?" said the little girl with red hair.

"That sounds like fun," said her friend. "I’ll serve."

The two little girls played tennis for a long, long time.

The little girl with the pigtail won the first five games. Her friend won the sixth game, but soon the set was over. The score was 6-1.

The little girl with the red hair played much better the second set and won by the same score. Six games to one.

"Let’s play one more," she said.

"I’ll serve," her friend said.

The two little girls played on and on. The redheaded girl led 2-0. Then, she lost three straight games. The score became 5-5. Golly, what a neato match. Back and forth and back and forth went the tennis balls. There were crosscourt backhands and down-the-line forehands. There were deep lobs and excellent gets and much top-spin.

One time, the little girl with red hair had a match point against her. She hit a drop-shot winner. Jimmy Connors wouldn’t try a drop-shot winner facing a match point.

The little girl with the red hair was not old enough to know better.

It was very exciting, but suddenly the two little girls weren’t having as much fun as they thought they would. So tense was the little girl with the pigtail, she began to cry after missing an easy shot.

She cried and she cried, and she stomped her foot and she contorted her face into an awful shape.

The little girl with red hair did not cry, but when she missed a shot, it hurt her very badly. Once, she hit herself on the head with her racquet because she missed a shot.

"Dummy," she muttered to herself.

By this time, the little girls were covered in perspiration and their cute play outfits were soaking wet.

The sun beat down on them ferociously during the final game. The little girl with red hair was leading 6-5, serving for the match.

She had three match points, but each time the little girl with the pigtail sent the game back to duece. The little girl with the pigtail cried between almost every point.

"I wish we had decided to play something else," she thought to herself.

Suddenly, it was over. The little girl with the pigtail hit a backhand over the baseline. She said, "Nice match" to her friend and then she cried some more.

Many people had gathered to watch the two little girls play tennis because they played so well. "There is probably a quarter of a million dollars worth of lessons between them," said a man.

Other men made wagers on the outcome of the tennis match between the two little girls who will probably grow up to be millionairesses.

The two little girls each received a silver dish for playing so well. The little girl with the red hair got a bigger dish because she won the match.

Her name was Margaret Hopkins, and she lives in Illinois. Her friend was Cari Hagey. She lives in California. They played at the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center in Atlanta.

Margaret Hopkins, because she beat Cari Hagey, is now the top-ranked twelve-year-old girl tennis player in all of the nation. When the match was over, she smiled and showed her braces.

It was the first time either of the two little girls had smiled in over two hours.

Wow. Tennis is such fun.

Lewis Grizzard was a syndicated columnist, who took pride in his Southern roots and often wrote about them. This column is part of a collection of his work.

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