Story 8: uMsasane the Acacia tree.

"Crack! Crack!" uMsasane tree cries out. Papa Simon, Mama Ruth, Josh and Mia are enjoying tea and sharing Mia's TopsyChoco cake. They chat and laugh loudly about Chloe and her prince, unaware of the noise coming from uMsasane’s tree. Suddenly, there is a loud thud, followed by another and another, coming from the garden. Josh, the first to hear the thud, quickly rushes out of the kitchen. He discovers that one of uMsasane's large branches has broken off. Papa Simon, Mama Ruth and Mia hastily follow Josh. Papa Simon urgently inspects the tree's bark and branches, assuring everyone that everything seems fine. He then says to Josh and Mia, "It is very dangerous if a branch falls on one of us, an animal, or the house. uMsasane may be a tree, but it is essential that we take care of him. Just like we care for each other, we need to care for all living things."

Meanwhile, Mia is frantically searching for Chloe and Prince Nakaya. She calls out, "Chloe, Prince Nakaya, where are you?" She rustles the leaves of the fallen branch and looks into the pond. "Croak! Croak!" They cry out loudly at the same time. They are hiding under one of the lily leaves. Mia immediately picks Chloe and her prince into her hands, relieved and happy to see that they are unharmed.

All is well. Papa Simon and Josh have cut the branch into smaller pieces. Josh suggests, "Papa, I can use the wood to make a beehive. Where should we put the leaves?" Papa Simon replies, "We'll dig a hole at the back of the shed and all the leaves from the garden, along with fruit and vegetable peels and leftover food, can be placed in this hole to make compost." They chat as they gather the leaves.

"Hey, did you know trees can talk to each other?" asks Papa Simon with a smile. "Really?" says Josh, fascinated. Mia adds, "But how do they do it?" Papa Simon explains, "Well, trees have a special way of communicating with each other. It is like having their own secret chat room underground!" He tells them about mycorrhizal fungi, which are like tiny, friendly helpers for the trees. "These fungi form long threads that look like roots and they connect with the trees," Papa Simon continues. "Through these threads, trees share important stuff, like nutrients and information. It is like they're sharing snacks and secrets!" Mia watches Chloe and her prince hopping around and she copies their croaking sounds. "Trees are not only pretty, but they're superheroes too! They give us oxygen to breathe and they give homes to lots of animals," Mia says with excitement. "Absolutely," agrees Papa Simon. "Trees are special and they're essential for life on Earth. They take care of us and we need to take care of them too. Let us remember to be good friends to trees and protect our beautiful planet!" Mia and Josh drew a poster, encouraging all their friends to save trees.

As they talk, they hear uMsasane’s tree, making soft hissing sounds. It's like he's happily singing songs to his Acacia tree family. The three of them smile, knowing that they are all part of the wonderful world of trees, where nature's magic and wisdom happens.

Acacia Tree
Bee on purple flower
Mr. Bok



Mr. Bok loves climbing trees.

Collage image of children