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Matze the Soccer Star

“Great, the sun is coming out!” shouts Matze, while playing in the kindergarten yard after lunch. It rained in the morning, but now the first rays of sun are shining through the clouds, making the puddles in the courtyard glitter. “OK kids, time to clean up!” says Nina the teacher. “Whoever is finished can get dressed and go outside.”

Now Felicitas jumps up too. She had been looking at picture books with Lilli and Imke, but now she runs to the cloakroom. “Stop! We’re supposed to clean up!” calls Lilli after her. But Felicitas has already disappeared. “It doesn’t matter,” says Imke. “The two of us will clean up then.” The girls put the picture books back into the box and also head towards the coat room. There’s a lot of crowding there, because everyone wants to get outside fast after the rainy morning.

When Imke and Lilli are standing in front of the building, they see that Matze and Felicitas have already grabbed the soccer ball. “We’re going to play a super cool soccer tournament today!” calls Matze. “Imke, Lilli, you’ll play too, won’t you?” Imke nods and pulls Lilli over to Matze and Felicitas. Then Mali and Elise also come out of the building. Matze waves the two of them over and assigns them to teams: “Imke and Lilli play with me, Mali and Elise play with Felicitas,” he decides. “Too bad Milla isn’t here,” says Felicitas. “I know,” exclaims Matze, “she’s a pretty good player. But you know that she’s visiting her dad now. He lives in a different city and she doesn’t get to see him that often. But Milla will be back on Monday, then she can play with us again.”

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The children take the ball out onto the field. Imke notices that the grass is still quite wet. “Would you like to be goalie?” she asks Lilli, who looks a little shy and then nods her head uncertainly. “I can’t play soccer,” she then says. “Or at least that’s what my big brother says.” “That’s nonsense, we’re all going to have a lot of fun!” says Imke, trying to encourage her.

And off they go: Lilli is in one goal, Elise in the other. Felicitas gets the ball, her team is allowed to start. She kicks it to Mali and sprints off. She slips on the wet grass and almost falls down. She can only keep from falling with effort. When she looks over at Mali, she sees that Matze has taken the ball from her. “Oh no!” Felicitas yells and runs after it. But Matze has gotten a head start, kicks and.... “Goal!” Matze, Imke and Lilli cheer. “I’m a total soccer star!” brags Matze. But Felicitas is mad: “He only shot the goal because I slipped!” 

Now everybody is paying close attention, so the ball gets played back and forth for a long time. Sometimes Imke has the ball, then Matze or Mali have it again. All of a sudden Felicitas runs towards the other team’s goal and shoots. But the ball slips off her foot and doesn’t have a lot of momentum, so Lilli can stop it. “Great!” yells Imke. “See, you can play soccer. Tell that to your big brother!” she quickly adds. Lilli smiles happily. But Felicitas is of course mad again. 

But a little later she has another chance at a goal: Mali flanks the ball to Felicitas, who immediately takes off with it. Matze runs after her... and while the ball is landing in the goal, he slips and falls. “Even score!” yells Felicitas. Elise and Mali are also happy. Lilly looks a little scared, but Imke says: “Nobody would have been able to stop that ball, don’t worry about it!”

And Matze? He stands up and looks down at himself: His clothes are pretty wet and very muddy. “Gee, Matze,” says Mali, “you’re not a soccer star, you’re a mud star!” The girls all get a big laugh out of this. First Matze looks mad, then he smiles too. “Enough for today!” calls Nina, and joins the children on the field. “Wow, Matze, what happened to you?” she asks, amazed. “I look just like a professional soccer player after a rain match!” he says proudly, and goes into the building with the others. 

Those who want to reenact the story can felt a soccer ball... just the right size for the Little Friends.

Those who want to reenact the story can felt a soccer ball ... just the right size for the Little Friends.

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