‘Tweet tweet, tweet tweet!’ Asobora heard, as he woke up on his tree branch, up on one of the tallest trees in the forest. He looked and saw a bird, a small bird, with small feathered wings of orange and red. The bird looked around, ducked it’s head and clasped a worm in it’s beak. It then spread its wings and took flight, right up out over the trees, keeping the worm firmly in place.
‘Daddy, why has a bird just taken a worm away from the ground?’ Asobora asked his Dad, a wise monkey. ‘Well, Asobora, that is what birds eat. We eat leaves and bark, and some fruits, and birds eat worms. It is nature Asobora.’ He replied. This got Asobora thinking, if birds didn’t eat what monkeys ate, then what else did animals eat?
Asobora set out on a mission for the day. As he walked into the town of Uganda, he looked around him, wondering what he could and couldn’t eat, and why did certain animals eat certain things. On his way into town, he came across a woman. The woman was on her hands and knees, and she was moving soil and grass around, and then pouring water over the ground.
‘Would you like some help getting up?’ Asobora asked the lady. ‘No, young man, I am supposed to be on the floor, I am planting.’ She answered. ‘Planting, what’s planting?’ Asobora asked, very intrigued. ‘Do you mean, what are you planting?’ The lady replied. ‘I plant seeds, in the ground, so that they get nutrients from the soil and the water, and the grow and produce food for my family.‘ ‘Seeds? Nutrients? Why do you not just eat things that are already there, like grass?’ A very confused Asobora said.
‘Seeds are like the start of life. Like a bird comes out of an egg, a vegetable comes out of a seed. The nutrients are things that are in the soil that make the seed grow into food, like the sunlight and warmth makes the birds grow inside the eggs. People cannot eat grass, but we can eat many other things, things that we grow ourselves and things that we do not.’ The lady said. ‘I’ll show you’.
The lady took Asobora’s hand and led him in to her home. In the kitchen there was plenty of fruit and vegetables, and some milk. ‘This is milk, little monkey. This does not come out of the ground but out of a cow. We squeeze the cows udders, and out it comes, like magic. People drink this, it keeps us healthy, so we can live longer.’ She told Asobora.
‘So, if I drink milk, will I live longer?’ He asked.
‘It is different, from human to animal. Everybody eats different things, and there is a food chain. We can get our food from the animals as well as the plants, some creatures only eat plants, some eat animals too. It is nature, little monkey. That is why the bird eats the worm, and the worm eats the leaves.’ She said.
Asobora stared blankly, ‘so, what do the leaves eat?’
‘No, no, little monkey. The leaves do not have to eat anything, they use the sun and its light to survive. This is why the leaves on the top of the trees are greener than those on the bottom of the forest.’ Asobora nodded his head, he had noticed that the leaves on his bed were much greener than those that had fallen on to the ground.
‘Here, little monkey, try some tomato. It is a fruit I have grown, it started life as a seed.’ The lady said, as she handed Asobora the large, red, circular fruit. He bit into it, and the seeds, along with the juice, poured into his mouth. ‘Mmm, that is delicious!’ He said joyfully, as he continued to eat.
He sat with the lady for a little while, as she showed him the different fruits and vegetables she had grown. ‘Thank you for teaching me all of these things, I can not wait to tell my Daddy!’ Asobora said as he was leaving. Stepping away from the house, the lady followed him, with two ripe and juicy tomatoes. ‘Don’t just tell your Daddy, show him too little monkey. And if he likes them, I will let you grow some in my garden.’ She said.
So Asobora, giddy with his new discovery, ran all of the way home to show his Mummy and Daddy what he had brought, and to tell them all of the things he had learnt off the lady.