THE FOREST
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The Forest

by

Artwork: Eliana Horn

  • Joined May 2021
  • Published Books 1

It was a perfectly lovely spring morning in Boise 

Woodlands Forest.

Brushtail Possum was climbing up an old hollow tree to its newborn

joey. Brushtail Possum had safely hidden in a nest on a thick, leafy

branch, with a mouthful of fresh eucalyptus leaves for her baby to

munch on.

 

Greater Glider and Spider Monkey were swinging between the

branches of the highest trees, using their long tails to help them. 

                     

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And Little Koala with its cuddly grey fur was resting peacefully after a

full meal of leaves and twigs in its tree.

 

Meanwhile, back at Prince Elementary School, Miss Applebaum was

preparing her first grade class for their springtime nature trip to the

local forest. All winter long, the children were busy learning about the

tree animals.

 

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They learned how Koalas only drink on very hot days, and get

 

their water from the leaves that they eat. Their fingerprints

 

are similar to human fingerprints!

 

Miss Applebaum taught the class about Brushtail Possum who

 

can eat poisonous plants that other animals can’t. They also

 

love to sleep, more than any other activity.

 

The children saw a video about Spider Monkeys who are very

 

intelligent and have good memories. They are called Spider

 

Monkeys because they look like spiders when they hang

 

upside down in the trees.

 

A few of the children shared what they learned from Library

 

Club about Greater Glider who prefer gliding from treetop to

 

treetop and are very clumsy on the ground. They are quiet

 

animals and communicate with each other though smell.

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The day finally arrived and the children came to school with their

binoculars and cameras, excited to see the amazing animals in their

natural homes. Riding happily on the bus, the children sang forest

animal songs that they learned with Miss Applebaum.

The bus arrived at Boise Woodlands Forest and the children got off the bus excited to see the animals.

What they saw next left them speechless! Looking in all directions,

they turned to their teacher with their mouths dropped open. Miss

Applebaum was equally shocked and cried out,

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“What is going on here? Where are the trees? Where are the

 

animals?”

 

She walked over to a man digging nearby and asked him,

 

“What are you doing? Why are the trees being cut down? The

 

animals will be homeless!”

 

“There is no one to take care of these trees and animals

 

anymore” said the man sadly.

 

“Our crew was ordered to take them down. A shopping center

 

and parking lot will be built here soon.”

 

“And what will be with the animals?” asked Miss Applebaum.

5

The children had no other choice but to get back on the bus, and

return to school. Miss Applebaum tried hard to keep her own

disappointment hidden, and assured the class that they would come

up with a plan to bring the forest back to life.

“How could people have done something like that?” said

moly at the lunch table, when they were talking about what

happened the day of the trip.

“I know,” said kay sitting next to moly . “It’s so sad that

that was their home where they lived, where they ate,and had their

babies, and now it’s all gone.

All the kids nodded. The bell rang and the kids put their lunch trays

away and walked back to their classroom.

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Miss Applebaum already knew what they were talking about

 

during lunch, when they walked into class with their sad faces.

 

As the last few children sat down at their desks, Miss

 

Applebaum turned to the board and wrote in big letters,

 

“WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP THE ANIMALS?”

She told the children that when they go home, they should talk with

each other and with their families to come up with some ideas that

would be discussed the following week in class.

Monday morning’s school bell rang and the children all sat down in

their seats ready to share their ideas. Over the next few weeks,

everyone had shared and discussed ways to help the animals

whose natural homes were cut down.

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We can take the animals home,” said jake.

“Well, we can’t actually take them home, replied Miss

Applebaum, smiling sympathetically at her, “but maybe we can bring

their home back to them!”

“We can give them food.” said ella.”

“Not a bad idea,” answered the teacher as she wrote it on the board.

Other children called out different ideas, each one anxious to find a

solution to help the animals and the empty forest.

“What about if we regrow the forest and take care of it?” suggested

ben, a quiet little boy sitting in the back of the classroom.

“That’s a wonderful idea,” said the teacher, as she added this to the

list on the board.

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  The next morning the teacher walked into class with a big smile on

her face.

“The plans for the shopping center fell through and principal Jackman

has given us permission to take care of the forest for the animals!!”

All the children in Miss Applebaum’s class cheered and clapped

enthusiastically. 

Over the next few months, the children went to the forest every day to

plant trees and water them.

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The trees were growing beautifully, and were now the height of the

first grade children. By the end of the summer the animals started to

return to the forest.

Brushtail Possum was back to climbing up a hollow tree with a

mouthful of fresh eucalyptus leaves, for her latest newborn joey.

Greater Glider and Spider Monkey were back swinging between the

branches of the highest trees, using their long tails to help them. 

And Little Koala with its cuddly grey fur was resting peacefully after a

full meal of leaves and twigs in its tree.

All the animals were back, and Miss Applebaum’s class couldn’t be

happier.

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