Let's build a story!

One, two, trees!

by Dora Pretković, grade 6

Hi, I'm Fred and this is the story about how I've learned a lesson.

Let's start from the beginning.

I was a good boy. I lived in a wooden cabin in an old, lush forest. I had many friends and I loved to play hide and seek with them in and around the forest because it had the best places to hide. However, we didn't always just play and have fun. We sometimes explore the huge and mysterious jungle that surrounds my home. During some of our serious expeditions, we sometimes found old and interesting things.

One day my mum bought me binoculars. I was thrilled. My friends and I used to play with it every day, all day and every minute. However, one day we had to get very serious and stop playing because we found something quite strange - a mysterious, dusty wooden treasure chest.

We were extremely excited, so we opened it immediately. It the treasure chest there were many toys, candy, costumes and different fun things. My friends dived into the chest and took out all of the costumes and started dressing up. But I was sure that there was something more in there, so I kept searching through the things.

While my friends were acting like children and putting on costumes, I found a map. At first I wasn't sure where it led, but I recognized some streets of the nearest city. The map led to an old laboratory in the centre of the city. I got very excited. At that moment, I heard my friends calling my name. I didn't want to show them the map, so I put it in my pocket went towards my friends to play with them.

I put on a red dragon costume and we started playing. After a long battle between dragons, Indians and pirates, we were exhausted and went home to bed. When I got to my room, I put the map in my secret treasure shoe box under my bed, and fell asleep. In the morning, my friends and I continued to play in the forest. Every minute of every day of every month we just had fun and played and played and played. I completely forgot about the map.

Let's fast forward the time.

After many years and many birthdays, I grew up, got older, and decided that I needed to move someplace else. While I was packing my things, I found my secret treasure shoe box under the bed. I opened it and found the map that I completely forgot about. I immediately packed my suitcases and rushed out of the cabin because now I knew where I have to go.

The laboratory was a typical laboratory – metal tables, glass bottles and test tubes, microscopes and old computers. Next to the laboratory, there was a children's playground full of swings, merry-go-rounds and sandboxes. As I was getting to the window to look at the children, I noticed some papers on the desk. They were blueprints for some kind of a machine that makes fluffy clouds. Since I didn't have anything to do, I started reading the prints, and realized that I could make the machine.

However, to make this amazing machine, I needed a lot, and I mean a lot, of wood. But I couldn't use any trees, I had to use the ones from the forest where I grew up. I decided to return to my cabin and to start cutting down the giant oak trees. As time passed by, the forest became more and more like a meadow. My friends needed to move away because they didn't have enough food and water, they didn't have a home anymore.

My project went great. I was building the machine, all its parts and cogs. When I was more than half way done, I had to stop with the project. You see, I've used up all the trees in the forest. I started crying. I was just sitting in my chair and crying like a little baby. I didn't have any more trees to continue with my project, but, even worse, I've destroyed my friends' home. I was devastated. I thought I was building something amazing, but I was actually destroying something even more amazing.

One day, some children were playing under my window. They were singing a well known children's rhyme.

I'm a little maple, oh so small,
In years ahead, I'll grow so tall!
With a lot of water, sun, and air,
I will soon be way up there!

I immediately got an idea. LET'S PLANT THE TREES!

I took all the money I owned, I invited all the people I know and they invited all the people they know and we started planting new trees in my forest. One tree at a time, we finally succeeded. We made a new forest. After some time, even my friends came back and life went to normal again.

Today, I'm an old, wrinkled man and I can't stop thinking. That's all I do – I think and I think. I think about the nature. I think about the importance of nature for us. I think about all the days I spent working on my machine, my clouds and my cogs. I think about all the days I spent destroying happy lives for my machine, my clouds and my cogs. My time for happiness and fun has passed. Now I can only remember my playful childhood and my days in the old, green lush forest.

I can only remember… But you can do something about it. So… DO IT!

mentor: Karmen Kanižaj

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