Kamran and Mapa
First Travel Book

Chapter 5 ~ The Heliplane

The turtle listened to Mapa and smiled. "All animals and kids see turtles move very slowly. Many think that we are stupid and lazy. But no one really knows how far we fly when we sleep deeply. My father, my mother and much of my family are no longer on Earth. When I fly, I speak with all of them. I live, eat, and even sleep with them. My visits are wonderful holidays where I can learn interesting things.

"When Earth was first born, it was very hot for a long, long time. During that time, most of the animals had armored shells like turtles. They were covered from head to foot. The sun could not hurt them. Whenever Earth had accidents, many animals died, but some survived by going into a deep, deep sleep. My grandfather told me this story when I visited him at the Constellation of the Turtles. He said our family was very old and had lived on Earth for a long time."

Mapa listened with her mouth dropped open as she heard Chryst’s story. A fly buzzed around her face and flew into her nose. She let out a great big sneeze - Apchee!

"Right!" said Kamran after Mapa’s mighty sneeze. "If anyone tells a story and someone sneezes, then it is always true. My grandfather told me so."

"But why do you jump so much?" asked Mapa.

"That’s simple," said Kamran. "My grandfather said that kangaroos are similar to dinosaurs. We change our bodies over time. I think, we grew a pouch to gather fruit. Maybe, we know how to jump so much because our relatives from long ago lived when the ground was too hot to stand still."

"But how do you know about dinosaurs?" asked Mapa. "You have no mother or father, the same as I. When did you speak with your grandfather?"

"One time when I was little, I had a dream. Many kangaroo-shaped animals were living on a big mountain. They were much bigger and had a hard outer shell like Chryst does. I have never seen anything here like I saw in my dream.

"I was unsure, yet I wanted to know more about these animals. Without thinking, I jumped very high and landed on the biggest one’s knee. I was afraid because he was so big and looked very strong. Just when I thought he might eat me, he smiled and asked my name.

"I told him my name and asked who he was. I kept wondering why he was not eating me. He had the shape of a kangaroo but was much bigger. He told me that I was still very young and that he could not answer all my questions right away. He said he was my great, great grandfather and promised to tell me many interesting stories if I would come to visit him more often. I have spoken with him other times in my dreams but I never know exactly how to find him."

"Okay," said Mapa. "You both meet with your families in your dreams. That means only I am an orphan." She hung her head low and spoke with a frown. "I know nothing. Where are my mother and father? Where are all my relatives?"

She cried and stomped her big feet. The trees trembled nearby. She did not want to listen to her friends any longer. When a large branch fell from a tree and hit her head she was silent.

After a minute, Chryst spoke. "When you stop crying, I will teach you how you can fly. You may meet your parents and grandparents. Then, you will understand that no one really dies on Earth. We only change to another place or another planet. If you love someone in your heart, then they really keep on living."

Mapa let out another be sneeze - Apchee!

"Right!" said the three friends together. Mapa was excited. Finding her family would be very interesting. They began to dance and sing.

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Mapa felt flying inside Chryst’s truck would be easiest. She would wash the truck so it would look very beautiful no matter where she flew. Chryst watched and laughed quietly to himself. He felt great love for his friend. After his truck was clean, he began to joke with Mapa. "I am not sure that you can fly in a truck. An airplane would be much more helpful, but you better hurry. You only have a few hours."

Mapa began to understand her mistake. She set to work gathered bamboo to build an airplane. This project was also interesting for Kamran. He had many wonderful ideas for the plane. He pulled a hammer out of his pouch and shaped the bamboo as fast as he could. Without looking, he grabbed for a stick of bamboo and gave a mighty hammer blow – Wham!

"Ouch!" screamed Mapa. Kamran had grabbed her long nose by mistake and was trying to make it part of the plane.

After a couple hours of work, the two friends finished the whole airplane. It was not like any airplane you have ever seen. It looked a lot more like a helicopter with wings. Both friends felt proud. While making the plane, they were only thinking about how they might fly to the Constellation of the Turtles. They really had not thought about how a kangaroo and an elephant were going to fly in their new "Heliplane."

Chryst could not help but smile when he saw their work. When the two friends called on the turtle, he started shaking his big head. They looked at him and wondered what could be wrong. Had they not built their Heliplane in a few hours just like he had said? What were they missing? Tears filled Mapa’s eyes.

Chryst asked, "How will you fly without a motor, some gas or a strong wind?" His eyes rolled up in his head. "Mapa, please stop crying, we can only try our best."

The elephant felt his encouragement and became excited. She started jumping around like a kangaroo. She really wanted to fly.

The kangaroo watched her jumping and was surprised. "The next time I’m in the jungle gathering fruit, you should join me."

Mapa’s excitement spread quickly to Kamran and he started jumping around as well. They wondered when they would begin their first flight.

Only Chryst did not hurry. He sat next to the Heliplane and waited to see if the wind would pick up. The three friends waited for over an hour. Mapa and Kamran felt they had been waiting all day. They were tired but could not rest because the thought of flying was too exciting. Maybe they would go as high as the clouds.

Kamran was restless and very frustrated. But, crying was not for him. He only started thinking very, very hard. "What would help us fly?" Then he had an idea.

He called on all his animal and children friends to come and help them with the Heliplane. He explained his idea so carefully that everyone understood. The two friends would enter the Heliplane and Kamran would count to three. On the count of three everyone would take a great big breath and blow them into the sky.

Remember, they had many friends in the Terai. Kamran’s idea just might work. All the friends met around the Heliplane. No one really knew what part was the front and what part was the back. Kamran tried to explain that the direction did not matter. Everyone must circle around and blow at the bottom on the Heliplane to lift it into the air.

Most of the children and animals were laughing at the idea of their crazy friends trying to fly to the stars. But they had asked for help and everyone would certainly try.

Kamran pulled out a pair of flying goggles and placed them over his eyes. Everyone’s excitement grew and he had to yell loudly to be heard. "Get ready everyone. One, Two, Three – Blow!"

The laughter stopped and all you could hear was a great single breath from all the friends. Then - Whewww! The blow was more wind than any of them had every felt. The Heliplane began to shake. It shook, rattled, and rocked.

Kaboom! - The Heliplane flew into pieces and exploded like a balloon.

At first, no one knew what happened. But then they saw and started laughing. Many rolled on the ground and held their bellies while tears rolled from their eyes. They did not see Kamran and Mapa.

The two friends lowered their heads. They did not laugh. This was a great disappointment. Now they only wanted to find a place to hide from their friends and their laughter.

Later, the sad adventurers joined Chryst at his truck and asked him what they should do next.

"Don’t worry," he said in a wise voice. "To fly to another planet, you first had to try without any help. Your Heliplane was not the way to the stars, but that is not important. You are ready and you tried your best. That’s the most important detail. Now, please come and sit inside my truck. I will help you."

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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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