“It is just a short walk, let the child experience the environment freely, you are preparing her as if she is flying into space”, laughed Doro’s grandpa. “See Gappa…”, said the 3 year old who was just beginning to speak, in a complaining tone. “Graaandpa, not gappa…”, corrected her mother. “Gappa, Gappa, Gappa…”, Doro chanted as her grandfather burst into laughter, “Gappa it is!”.
“How do we save our children, most of them are dying out of suffocation, we do no harm to anybody, we give shelter to so many insects and birds”, the bushes of the colony whispered to each other. “Even some of them are bumping into those deadly sheets and dying of suffocation, they come out of no where and wrap the life in the colony in their deadly grasp”, said a branch. “Several of my tiny new sprouts died before they could sense the warmth of the sun fully”.
“Mr. Grumpy tries his best to help, sometimes he brought along a passing deer or a rabbit to remove some of these, but of late no one seems to come by this way. So many deadly sheets have been rotting our colony past several days”, said the sparrows who lived in that colony in big numbers. “Can you not tear into these sheets and pull them with your claws?”, said Mr. Ronnie, the shy rat. “Harrow died trying Ron, you should be out when we could see you and talk to you, you barely come out”, came the response from an angry sparrow. “We don’t eat rats, why are you so shy, we can share, you don’t have to steal when we are asleep”. “Ronnie, disappeared into his burrow and didn’t respond”.
“It is not just a problem of this colony, Sarrow surveyed the path leading all the way up to the next colony. The sheets of death are all over the place, on the grass, on the branches, wrapped up like they are growing into the bushes, she is flying back anytime now”, said Timmy. “You said there would be guardians removing these away from us, but I have seen few of them throw these sheets carelessly around”, a sprightly looking bird they called Sarrow crash landed onto a branch panting. “The sheets are on the grass, on the path and the colony closest to us is also battling this problem. Brave Mr. Grumpy is spending all his time to bring in help. He is such a noble soul”, she added.
“Oh look a new bud, aaaaww so cute she is, let’s encourage her”, said Timmy. All the branches, leaves, sparrows and other creatures of the colony cried in happiness encouraging the bud in their own voices, “bud, bud, bud, bud…” and the branch that bore the bud felt so proud. Just then a deadly sheet came flying by and wrapped around the new bud. “Oh no! Somebody please help, not again…”, cried the branch, “God send an angel to us…”
“Look at the cat Gappa, she is so pretty”, Doro spotted Mr. Grumpy crossing the path. Gappa didn’t understand what Doro said, but could sense that the kid is excited about the cat. “This is why I brought you to this path today child, you should be taken more to the forest and trails around, not always go to the amusement parks, the real fascination is here…”, he continued, but Doro didn’t listen or care. She went running after the cat. Sarrow spotted Mr. Grumpy bringing in a tiny toddler towards the colony. “God may have heard you branch, let’s encourage our Grump…”, and they all started shouting, “Grumpy, Grumpy Grumpy…”, Doro suddenly heard the most beautiful sounds coming from the nearby bush. Chirpy bird calls and other noises, she paused in her tracks for a while to see where the sound was coming from, and then saw that the cat was headed in the same direction. “Waaaeeeeet meeeaaaow…meaaoow Gappa”, she called out to her grandfather and followed the cat towards the bush.
As she walked closer to the bush she stepped on a polythene cover lying on the grass lifelessly. Curious, she picked it up and the grass let out a huge sigh of relief, “thank you child, what is your name?”, the grass blades seem to ask as they danced to the cool breeze. “Dorothy, no! Drop that right now Doro, that is bad…”, came the voice of her grandfather who started to rush towards the kid. But then Doro could hear the grass calling out her name in gratitude, “Doro, Doro, Doro…”. Mr. Grumpy did a dainty jump to catch Doro’s attention again and she turned around towards the bush. As she got closer, her grandfather caught up with her and lifted her from the ground, Doro showed the cover she was hanging on to her tiny hands, “Gappa, see…”, and she laughed. “This is not good, throw Doro”, he tried to pull it out of her hand gently. Doro started crying, “no Gappa…they want help”, she said, but he didn’t understand. As he tried to turn around back to the road, his ears caught sense of the commotion coming from the nearby bush and also the plastic lying all around the place. He picked up another cover lying close by and Dorothy laughed happily. “I call him Gappa”, she told the nearby plant and Mr. Grumpy heard the name. “Everybody, let’s cheer Gappa! Gappa, Gappa, Gappa…”, said the plants, the birds and the grass. The tiny leaves clapped and danced.
Grandpa had a strange sense of fulfillment fill his heart, although he didn’t understand why. “Okay child…”, he said, “ you want me to pick up some of these covers? That makes you happy? It is also an important lesson, we should take care of nature, oh dear look at this bush, wait here, I need to get closer, oh dear dear, this is bad, which ruffians threw these here…”, Gappa carefully picked up the plastic wrapping the branches and the bud that was beginning its life. “Thank you Doro for coming by”, said Mr. Grumpy as the entire colony applauded the heroic efforts of Grumpy, Doro and her Gappa.
“From now on Doro, every time I go out, I am going to take a bag to collect as much little trash as I can and throw it into garbage bins, this is how we do it”, Gappa showed-off to Dorothy. “I love you Gappa”, she said and hugged and kissed him. “If we have to be worthy of the love of next generations, we should keep this world clean and pick up the trash…nah…stop trashing around the place first…”, he thought to himself, “…you made today’s walk a worthy one dear”, he said as they both made their way back home.