Coly the crocodile was chatting with Fon, the fox at the edge of the Big Watering Hole. Well, it was just named so, but in fact, had become quite small.
Coly looked around and said, “You know my grandfather used to tell me how huge this lake was. He was a great swimmer but he couldn’t go from one end to the other without getting tired. And look at it now! I can easily swim through because it has become very small.”
“That’s true,” the fox replied. “I heard that the small streams that used to drain into these lakes are no longer there. Man has diverted its waters to use for irrigation and agriculture.”
Just then, Benny, the bear came along huffing and puffing angrily. “I say, what is wrong. Can’t find more than a few trees that are full of honey. I am hungry.” Croc and Fox looked worriedly and asked what the matter was? Bear shouted, “I have a family of five to feed. From where do I get so much honey now? They keep coming and cutting off trees. Where do I get my food from?”
Just when Benny was talking, Mary, the macaw, flying up, swooped down to take part in the conversation. “I can understand Benny. Look at us! Sometimes I fly off during the day and when I come back at night I see my nest is gone. Forget the nest, the entire tree is gone!”
All four of them start discussing this. Fon, the fox who was the most intelligent of the lot said, “I have heard that around 900 million trees are cut across the world every year. No wonder it is one of the causes of global warming and increased temperatures. Of course, there are others too. Look at the pollution, humans are adding into the air. Plus have you ever seen the smoke off those huge factories.”
“And the piles of waste on the edge of the shores and even inside rivers and seas,” added Humsy the hippo. He had come up quietly and was listening to the discussion. “I have fish friends from the nearby waters who usually swim far and wide. They were shocked to see plastic and garbage floating in the water. In fact, a few of them were even caught up in it and died.”
The jungle animals started complaining about how humans had no love for nature. They all couldn’t understand. According to them, if humans could love nature and Mother Earth there would be no problems. Just as love is natural between humans and their children, nature and Mother Earth deserve the same love and respect.
Surly, the squirrel came tugging along as the discussion was underway. The animals seemed angry with how man was treating nature. She silently whispered, “You know not all of humankind is bad. Some of them really care and love nature. They make sure to plant more trees and use natural products. Many of them come every day to clean the beaches and waters. They have started recycling and reusing things. They use natural items, such as leaves or cloth for their daily usage and products such as bags and decors. They also are cycling more and using cars less. Yes, there is a difference. Man is realizing that loving nature is the best way to love all biodiversity on earth.”
The animals didn’t seem pleased with her. They thought she didn’t know better. But Minty, the monkey added. “No, she is right. You know how I love just jumping around and loitering from place to place. I happened to visit this School. In a morning assembly, I could see their teacher telling them about the upcoming Earth Day. Earth Day is celebrated every year on 22nd April. The kids were being taught about the importance of taking care of Earth and loving nature. And guess what? They also mentioned that they would be coming to our jungle on Earth Day. They will clean it up, pick up the plastic waste and take a pledge to ‘Restore the Earth’’, which is the theme of Earth Day 2021.”
The animals were quiet for a while. Finally, Benny said, “Alright, let’s all watch out on 22nd April. Let’s see if they come and clean our jungle.”
And rightfully so, on Earth Day, the animals saw loads of children walk into their jungle. They had big sacks that they filled with rubbish and plastic that they found in the forest. The children also gathered near the lake and enacted a few plays on restoring and conserving all things natural. They played some Jungle Theme music, danced, played around and seemed very happy before they all left before sunset.
The animals were very pleased. They too gathered at night near the lake. They were not angry anymore. Instead, they too saw hope and were delighted that the children were taking care of Mother Earth. They were so inspired by Children’s Dance and Play activities that they too danced and feasted and had a good time. They too celebrated the 51st Earth Day.
Finally, Fon the fox said, “Let’s hope they continue to be smart and creative. I mean they can live in buildings and drive cars and have factories. But they can do all of these using natural renewable energy and respecting nature. They can learn to co-exist with nature just the same way as we do.”
With that one by one, the animals all departed to their homes.