“Why must we be so careful, great-papo?” Mungo-tut always asked questions. Sometimes he listened to advice. Right now great-papo had a serious look on his face. “You are still young and this journey is to teach you. ”
“Flying between the sloppy-flops is very important,” great-papo said. “You don’t want them to splash you. ” A storm was taking place and his grandson looked up in surprise. Both were cruising quickly as they dodged sloppy-flops falling from the dark clouds above.
Mungo-tut and great-papo moved quicker than a bullfrog could lick a mosquito in flight.
Before mungo-tut asked another question great-papo spoke gently. “Sloppy-flops land on earth to visit for a short while. When many land together they form one huge bubble called a lake. Sometimes it can be huge. If they catch you, it means you can be trapped and never be able to travel like we are doing now.
All of a sudden the sky was filled with sloppy-flops. They fell from the sky in a mighty rush. Almost like Niagara Falls. Mungo-tut was busy zipping and zooming trying to keep up to great-papo. It was fun flying between sloppy-flops. It was also kind of great-papo to take mungo-tut on this grand journey.
Soon it was time to rest, and they did so in the hollow of a tree.
Both watched as the lake below grew larger. So many sloppy-flops had already arrived.
Mungo-tut was excited by everything before him.
He saw the lake push little streams far into the land. He saw animals come to the edge and drink. Some had little ones with them. Each seemed happy. Ducks swooped low as they dropped from the sky.
Their tired wings rested upon the water. Mungo-tut was glad to see that the lake full of sloppy-flops was a good thing.
Tonight mungo-tut spoke rapidly with great-papo. About everything he saw today. Now the bright moon shone a path across the lake. Loons began to sing songs with voices that rode with the wind. Their music was soothing. Other birds joined hooting owls and coyotes calling their friends. Mungo-tut finally fell asleep while being serenaded by these wonderful new sounds.
Morning arrived under a whisper of sunshine.
It was time for mungo-tut and great-papo to continue their journey. They zoomed across hills, and down into valleys. Flowers in many colours filled the land. Butterflies, chickadees and eagles flitted, zig-zagged and seemed to float upon the wind.
Such a great adventure thought mungo-tut. He wondered why he was being treated so special, not realizing he would find out very soon. Great-papo waited at the end of a thick branch.
He explained why sloppy-flops made sure the land was not too dry. It was important for grass to grow. It was necessary for animals to share the lake when they were thirsty.
Mungo-tut zipped down to the lake and had a drink. He was very thirsty and the water deliciously cold. Great-papo finally shared his most important secret. “Sloppy-flops formed dark clouds by gathering in great numbers. As many of them fell to the ground, lakes, rivers and streams were created. They were needed to bring moisture to the land. ”
After the sun came out, large numbers of sloppy-flops were taken back home into the sky. They remained until the land below got dry once again. “This is called the water-cycle,” said great-papo. “And that is the secret of life on the land,” he said.
“One day you will be a guardian of the sky, young mungo-tut. That is the reason for this journey. You must make sure not too many sloppy-flops gather together in one area. If a lake becomes too large, it will flood everywhere. Then creatures in the forest will have to move away. ”
“How do I stop too many sloppy-flops from gathering?” asked mungo-tut.
“You fly in circles as the clouds are created. And chase away sloppy-flops if too many gather at once. Now you will take your place as a guardian. And you will be very busy in your work.
“Thank you, great-papo,” said mungo-tut.
(There is no end, only a beginning)
(c) 2017 Richard L. Provencher