Kamran and Mapa
First Travel Book

Chapter 4 ~ Reunion with Friends

Mapa laughed and hummed through her large nose as she danced around the Terai. The sun felt wonderful on her thick skin. She enjoyed the smell of jungle flowers by keeping her eyes closed.

She heard an engine and saw a big truck outside the jungle. Looking inside, she recognized her new turtle friend, Chryst. He sat behind the steering wheel and did not move. The truck stood still, but the motor was running. This seemed strange. Mapa’s turtle friend looked dead.

She knocked on the window but Chryst did not react. She opened the truck door and blew from her trunk into the turtle’s face. Still, nothing happened. Now Mapa began to remember how beautiful her time had been with her lovely friend. The turtle always told Mapa long stories while they sat in the Terai. She started to cry.

Meanwhile, in the middle of the jungle, Kamran was at his usual play. He was jumping high and jumping low. His jumps took him anywhere and everywhere. Usually, his jump would place him at the perfect height to grab the nicest and juiciest apples. Not only was he an expert jumper, he also had great practice picking apples.

Before too long, Kamran’s jumps got smaller and smaller. The flexible pouch at his belly was beginning to bulge with fruit. Now was time for the feast to begin. He used both hands to transfer apples from his pouch into his mouth and made his way through the jungle.

Crush, Slurp! Mapa heard sounds coming from the jungle. Her elephant hearing was as keen as her smell. Her tears for Chryst prevented her from calling out to Kamran. She knew he was busy with one of his usual past times — thinning the apple harvest from the orchard in the jungle.

One last jump and Kamran was out of the jungle. His eyes rolled back into his head. He placed both hands on his huge belly and fell over on to his side – Thump! He landed next to the large truck without even seeing Mapa or the turtle.

Now Mapa saw both of her friends lying before her. She let a big wail and blew like a trumpet through her nose. The sound startled Kamran. He opened his eyes and saw Chryst in the truck. He heard sounds of crying coming from somewhere behind him. He felt he had done something wrong. Maybe a pouch full of apples was too much for one kangaroo?

He rolled over on to his other side. He still was not ready to try standing with his full belly. He saw that Mapa was making the crying sounds.

"Mapa, Mapa!" he called. But the elephant did not stop crying to answer. He rolled over once more and turned toward the turtle. He seemed to be asleep. He certainly was not moving. Maybe this was time for a little fun.

First, Kamran reached into his pouch and pulled out an apple. A piece of its stem was still attached. He popped the apple into his mouth and used the stem to tickle the turtle. Kamran knew the turtle's ticklish areas would be around his legs, tummy, and neck. He tried all these places, but still Chryst did not stir.

Kamran decided to do something else. He spat apple seeds at the turtle. Rat, tat, tat, tat - went the seeds on the turtle's shell. Still, Chryst slept. The rat, tat, tat, tat sound gave Kamran a new idea. He began playing on the turtle's shell with his knuckled forepaws as if he was playing a big drum. He even sang his Sunshine song (see end of book) that the friends often sang together.

Suddenly, the turtle moved. He opened one eye and started humming along with Kamran.

Mapa stopped crying when she heard her two friends' music. She started laughing. But this was strange because she was still crying. Kamran and Chryst looked at each other, smiled and turned toward their elephant friend.

"Mapa!" said the turtle.

"Why are you crying?" asked Kamran.

Mapa heard both their voices. She did not stop crying right away said. "Oh, Chryst!" she answered. "I thought you were dead! You sat there for such a long time. I could not speak with you. I tried everything! You did not even move."

"No, No," said the turtle. "I was in a deep, deep sleep and saw many beautiful dreams. I flew to many other planets and they where all wonderful. Everywhere I flew I saw many friends that I have not seen for many, many years."

"Why is it that I love you both so much?" Mapa asked while shaking her head. "One of you jumps and eats a pouch full of apples. The other sits completely still like you're dead. But, I can only cry. Why is this? What is going on with both of you?"

Prologue, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
Songs: Sunshine Song & Love for Mother Earth




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