Exoneration

Exoneration

In a far, far away place, there is a magical jungle of exotic plants and animals. These plants and animals lived together in harmony. They shared food with each other and sang songs to one another. Everyone lived in peace, except two naughty toucans!

These two toucans, a brother and sister, would not share food with each other. They did not sing joyful songs. They chased each other through the trees. They bickered and battered back and forth, arguing more and more. Until, one day, they flew into the Great Papaya Tree.

The Great Papaya tree was an ancient and wise tree that blossomed delicious papaya fruit. The brother and sister toucan landed in its treetop and started to bicker and batter back and forth. The Great Papaya Tree heard their quarrels and spoke,

“Who is bickering and battering in my treetop?”

The sister toucan responded, “It is us, the toucans, and it is not I who is bickering and battering. It is my brother who bickers and batters!”

“No, no,” said the brother. “I am not bickering and battering. My sister is the one who bickers and batters!” And thus, they began to bicker and batter back and forth. The Great Papaya Tree listened, thought, then spoke,

“Listen to me. Come back tomorrow. Even if you are angry, you must come back tomorrow, and I will have something for you.”

The toucans agreed and came back the next day. When they returned, they found the Great Papaya Tree had blossomed many vibrant papaya fruit. More fruit than they could eat!

The Great Papaya Tree spoke, “I have blossomed many papaya fruit for you, more than you can eat. Eat as much as you can, and come back tomorrow, and there will be more.”

The toucans agreed. They ate as much as they could and came back the next day, and there was more papaya fruit!

And the Great Papaya Tree spoke, “Eat as much as you can and come back tomorrow for more.” And the toucans did. They ate as much as they could and came back. They came back everyday until, one day, the Great Papaya Tree did not have fruit!

“What happened to your fruit?” asked the toucans.

The Great Papaya Tree spoke, “I am very old and can no longer make fruit. And soon I will die.”

This made the toucans very sad. They did not want the Great Papaya Tree to die. The Great Papaya Tree saw their sadness and said, “Come back tomorrow and see me. Even if you are sad, you must come back tomorrow and see me.” The toucans agreed.

The next day came and the toucans were very sad. They were so sad that they did not go back. They stayed at home and cried. Another day came, and they were so sad they stayed home again. Three days, then four days, and on the fifth day, they found the courage to go back. And when they returned, they found something amazing!

Below from where the Great Papaya Tree had stood were hundreds and hundreds of baby papaya trees! These little papaya trees had sprouted from the seeds of the papaya fruit when the toucans had eaten, and they were growing, reaching towards the sun! The baby papaya trees would grow into big papaya trees to make fruit for all the jungle animals.

The brother and sister toucan learned to agree. They learned to share. No more did they bicker and batter back and forth. Instead, they used their voices to sing songs for all the jungle animals. Their song sings thanks to the papaya trees for sharing their fruit. They sing thanks to the Great Papaya Tree who taught them to love.

Gnome Countryside

Gnome Countryside