Written by: Folayemi Emoruwa
Narrator: Once upon a time!
Narrator: There was a kingdom known as the animal community. Three families were first to move into the community. The first set was Mr. Lion, Mrs. Lion and their little baby- Cuby,
the second, grandpa elephant, his 3 children, their spouses along with 7 grandchildren, the third, Mr. and Mrs. Pigeon. The animal community was very beautiful with lush green forests and trees; it had two very big rivers- River Blue and River Clean. They decided to have River Blue as the recreation river where they held picnics around the river shorelines and have fun with their families on Saturdays and Sundays.
Mrs. Pigeon was the English teacher who taught the community children Mondays through Fridays. Mr. Lion was elected as the community leader, grandpa Elephant was his assistant and they both made every decision for the community. The community had a very good organization, the environment was very clean and peaceful, everyone was healthy as all the foods they ate were natural.
One fateful day, Mr. Tortoise walked into the office of Mr. Lion who was not expecting any visitor. He was surprised and curious at what could have brought the Tortoise into the community and immediately they got into the serious business of his visit.
“My family and I will love to relocate to the animal community, we have seen the peace and stability you enjoy and we want our children to grow up in such a community” the Tortoise said. “My first son loves to swim, we all call him water turtle while his three younger ones are into series of sports”, he said proudly. “You must be very proud of them,” replied Mr. Lion so his visitor wouldn’t see him as being unconcerned. The Tortoise also hinted that some other families were interested in relocating to the animal community but feared that the Lion might not approve being the community head. “I was chosen for the task” he simply stated.
All this while, the Lion listened patiently without interrupting him. When he had ended, Mr. Lion asked him to come back for a reply after a month as he needed to consult other community members. After the tortoise left, Mr. Lion gave it some serious thought considering the fact that allowing others to migrate into their community implies more population. “The tortoise said he has four children, a family of 6,” he thought aloud. The increase in waste production would imply an increase in consumption too. The serenity they experience in the animal community would be disturbed either. With a heavy heart, he locked the door to his office and headed home to assist Mrs. Lion in preparing for Cuby’s one-year birthday party. Since the other families were invited, they had decided the party would be an outdoor one as the Elephants’ were too big to come into their living room. All through the preparation, the lion kept asking himself if this was going to be the last beautiful birthday they would have with the families present. The following day was picnic day so he would have to raise the issue and ask everyone to give their opinions.
The following day, at the picnic ground, while the children were swimming, the adults gathered together, the lion narrated the entire incidence while they also kept a keen eye on the children. For a few minutes, no one offered to speak as Mr. Lion had carefully laid the good and bad sides of things to them. Alas, Mr. Pigeon spoke up, “well, for me I think I like the idea of a bigger community, we will be able to have more people we can communicate with,” he stated. Mr. Pigeon also noted that urbanization would be brought into the animal community. Grand pa Elephant spoke up next, “more people will mean our forest trees will soon be gone and used as firewood to cook; smokes will be released from the firewood and the health of our children and even adults especially a 65-year-old man like me is threatened,” he said with great concern. Grand pa Elephant also said that resources such as water will be used up rapidly and they may not have picnic time again as rivers Blue and Clean would be dried up or polluted since an increase in water consumption will arise. He also buttressed the point of Mr. Pigeon that modernization, new houses, new industries will have to be put up to improve the way they live now which is a good thing too. “No one has said anything about sanitation and waste generation,” Mrs. Lion noted and her husband nodded for her to speak.
“More wastes will be generated, how do we take care of that? Because an increase in population equals to increase in consumption and wastes generation,” she said. They discussed for the next hour and a half and eventually came to the conclusion that ten new families should be allowed into the animal community. However, they would need to come up with rules and regulations that everyone must abide by, particularly in the aspect of pollution (air, noise, and water), deforestation and waste management as they wanted their environment to remain beautiful and clean.
Three months after the ten families were allowed into the animal community, things suddenly seemed not to work perfectly anymore. Mr. Tortoise had the habit of increasing the volume of his television and sound systems which was generating noise pollution. His neighbors had made complaints about how they couldn’t take a nap in the afternoon because of the noise from the Tortoise’s house but he refused to change. Waste bins were at so many strategic places in the community yet biscuit wraps, plastics, drinking cans and unused legos and toys were often found on the street. The first families had to cancel their weekend picnics after a long while as the River Blue was now running dry and River Clean was now polluted as the new juice factory releases their wastewater into River Clean.
- Kindly share this story with a kid you know
- Make a decision not to drop wastes on the floor anymore
- Gently correct anyone who pollutes the environment
- Educate others on importance of keeping the environment healthy
- Who was the community’s leader?
- What birthday year did Cuby celebrate?
- Who visited Mr. Lion surprisingly in the office and what was the reason for the visit?
- Mention the names of the two rivers in the animal world
- Why did the first families cancel their picnic to the river?
- Why do we need to keep the animal world clean?
About the author: Folayemi Emoruwa is an environmental scientist who is very passionate about environmental safety. You can contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org