Chapter 3 - BANANAS
Shanti pulls another branch towards her, tearing it off like a blade of grass. Shoving it in her mouth, she starts to chomp on its bushy leaves - twigs and all.
The once little elephant is now one of the largest in the herd - and has an appetite to match. She’s nearly always munching away on leaves, bark, roots and fruit and she’s almost never full. Together the elephants have just eaten a sizeable clearing in the jungle and it’s about time to move on.
But ever since meeting the strange animals, with their bananas and termite-mound homes, the forest hasn’t felt quite right. They keep finding huge clearings, larger than any herd could make and the giant trees of the forest are disappearing.
There are strange tracks everywhere too, leaving long, giant trails that cut through the jungle.
It’s time to get moving. Mum is leading them to a part of the jungle Shanti’s never been before - but some of the older elephants remember it.
As they set off in the darkness Shanti notices the jungle is quieter than normal. Where are the calls of the birds? The singing of the gibbons? They push on, carving a path through the thick plants.
They walk for hours and hours until they come to a halt. The older elephants are confused… is this it? Is this the place they remember? It can’t be…
In front of them stand rows upon rows of uniform trees running as far as Shanti can see. Usually she can never see through the jumble of thick plants. But here… all of that is gone. All the bush and vines have disappeared. Leaving tall palms. Straight as bamboo. Standing in neat rows. Spiky green branches fanning out at their tops. And they don’t even look tasty.
The herd pushes on, they’re hungry and need somewhere to nap. Mum leads them through the palms, bashing them down as they go.
Suddenly, Shanti sees something in the distance. Banana trees. Hundreds of them!
She smashes through the palms, into the banana tree forest.
It’s an elephant paradise! All around them are now hundreds of bananas, their trees all neatly spaced and drooping under the weight of the huge bunches. The elephant herd trumpet - they’ve never experienced anything like this. So much of one fruit all in one place!
Shanti reaches up and grabs a big bunch of bananas, picking the best ones off. The rest of the herd start to do the same, delighted at their find. They crash around merrily, munching as much fruit as they can stuff into their mouths.
Watch out for chapter four coming soon!
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