Protecting the environment Click the link to download the accompanying powerpoint.
Can you think of any part of our environment that is worth protecting?
Example answers: parks, forests, beaches, mountains, school grounds, lakes, rainforests, meadows.
What can we do to help the environment?
Example answers: plant trees, turn off unused lights, use water sparingly, pick up litter, reuse items, walk to school, compost.
In the shadow of the mountain on the shores of the Sagan Sea lived Kiraroo. Kiraroo loved his home. He loved the roar of the crashing waves, the smell of the sea air and the glow of the turquoise water around him. Every morning Kiraroo would wake early and take his sand horse out for a ride over the ancient boulders behind his house. Sand horses are rather strange creatures, imagine a sea horse with legs and you will have a good idea of the beauty of these pastel coloured beasts. Kiraroo knew the boulders like no one else. He could gallop along their surface bouncing from boulder to boulder with ease. He knew every twist and turn of the ashen rocks. Kiraroo’s favourite place was called the razor back, it was a huge formation of gigantic, jagged stones. Like the scales of a stegosaurus they extended high in to the sky. Nature had placed them almost too perfectly so that Kiraroo and his sand horse could climb a boulder propelling themselves from the tip of the rock high into the air in the knowledge that they would land safely on the down ward slope of the next boulder. This roller coaster boulder ride would continue for almost as far as the eye could see. Kiraroo loved the feeling of gliding through the air on his sand horse. You can imagine what a rare and fantastic trail this created for him.
Kiraroo awoke extra early, he was planning on completing his weekly litter pick before taking his sand horse for a long ride. Every week he would ensure that the beach and ancient boulders were spotless from any litter that the ocean had washed up. He felt that it was his way of giving back to the beach and the boulders for all of the fun that they provided him with. Kiraroo’s sand horse elegantly trotted up the ancient mossy surface of the highest boulder, his ragged sea weed like mane danced in the wind. Carried on the breeze was an eerie scratching and scraping sound. Staring down below, he spotted smoke rising from a nearby boulder. As Kiraroo drew nearer he was met with a disturbing sight...
What do you think Kiraroo saw?
... the villagers from the settlement in the valley were drilling and hammering at the ancient boulders. Kiraroo and his sand horse thundered down the rocks towards the wretched noise. His horse reared and bayed as he drew to a sudden halt in front of the clouds of dust and hammering. A pick axe crashed to the floor. “What can I help you with,” inquired a rough voice abruptly.
“I want to know why you are hammering away at the beautiful boulders,” replied Kiraroo confidently. “I have ridden these boulders every day since I was young, I love riding out here and I hate to see the landscape being destroyed,” added Kiraroo. The dark fur on the figures head ruffled in the wind and his hard ochre coloured eyes softened a little. “I am sorry young one, we are just mining rock for the village below. We want to extend the road and rebuild the wall around the school,” he calmly declared.
“You must find somewhere else to mine,” pleaded Kiraroo. This landscape is rare and ancient and I enjoy it every day,” he explained.
“That’s as maybe but it makes excellent building material,” retorted the figure in a matter of fact tone. The clinking and clanking began again as the villagers continued to chip away at the boulders. Kiraroo tried to explain that the boulders were important, but his voice was lost amongst the grunting and clanking of the workers.
Feeling rather helpless Kiraroo turned his sand horse and slumped on his back he made his way towards home. Faster and faster he galloped over the rocky surface in an effort to forget about the destruction he had just seen. Over the rhythmic tapping of his horse’s hooves he could hear the sound of the clinking and clanking tools playing over and over in his mind. Kiraroo couldn’t forget. He approached the ancient oak forest which fringed the top of the highest boulders. Some how Kiraroo had always felt comforted by the splash of green provided by the miniature trees. He dismounted his horse and dashed in amongst the ancient gnarled trunks of the forest. It felt damp and still within the grove of trees. Still the image of destruction played over in Kiraroo’s mind. In sadness he lay down on a cushion of moss and buried his head in the soft leafy surface. Underneath the moss Kiraroo could see what seemed like a light, it twinkled and danced amongst the shadows. Carefully Kiraroo began to dig away at the surface, but as he got closer the twinkling stopped. In the corner of his eye he noticed another glint of light. This time the twinkling was brighter but the source was tiny, no larger than a marble. Swiftly Kiraroo thrust his hand towards the light. He clenched his fingers, tight, they began to glow. The marble of light was warm. Kiraroo couldn’t tell if it was his imagination but it felt as if it was moving inside his clenched fist. Through the gaps of his loosened fingers, he peered in to his hand. The strange shining ball was indeed vibrating; it darted erratically from side to side. As Kiraroo opened his fingers wider, the ball suddenly stopped and the light began to fade. He clenched his fist a little more and knelt down amongst the moss, he waited, watching. Slowly the glowing became stronger and stronger. As he stared at the light he could see that there was something inside it, he poked a finger into the strange ball. It felt wet! There was a high pitched “ouch.” In disbelief Kiraroo stared at what he could now see more clearly. In the middle of the ball was a strange round glowing creature, no larger than the smallest of pea’s. The purple creature had very wide eyes for something so tiny. “Put me back,” ordered the creature in an irritated tone.
“I’m sorry” replied Kiraroo. "I didn’t realise that I was picking up some one’s home, I thought I’ d found some kind of treasure,” he explained.
“What do you mean you didn’t realise?” questioned the fury little beast. “Don’t you live in a water ball too?” The creature added innocently. Kiraroo smiled, he told the creature all about his home and explained how he had come to be lying in the moss and how he had spotted the strange glowing of the creature's water ball home. “Well, we all live in water balls,” retorted the creature. "The moss collects the water and we turn it into our homes, it is both our house, food and our drink, it is the most important thing to a squadge hopper and the only way that we can survive. We have lived up in the moss on these boulders for centuries,” continued the squadge hopper. “The water runs off the boulders and we use it to make our homes.” Kiraroo couldn’t believe what he was seeing. The commotion had now attracted quite a crowd, the mossy surface glistened with 1000's of twinkling lights vibrating and humming in high pitched voices. They appeared to be getting quite irate. “I really didn’t mean to upset you,” explained Kiraroo.
“It is not you that we are upset with,” piped up a particularly bright glowing squadge hopper. “We are angry with the villagers that you met, the ones who were mining at the rocks. These rocks are our homes too. In fact if it wasn’t for us those villagers would be in quite a mess,” continued the squadge hopper. “Have you ever thought about what happens to the water that runs off these steep boulders?”
What do you think would happen to the water? Example answers: The water would run off the boulders and flood the town below.
“We take up that water for our homes. While most creatures shelter we buzz around these rocks collecting as much as we can. Do you know what would happen if we just left all of that water?" He questioned. Kiraroo thought for a second but before he could answer a tiny squadge hopper continued, “it would run off all of those rocks in a torrent and the village in the valley would flood.” This made the squadge hoppers even more irate, they flickered and twinkled, mumbled and grumbled and jumped and bumped amongst the rocks. “we won’t help, we won’t help chanted the furious squadge hoppers!”
"I will talk to them," declared Kiraroo, he jumped on his horse and thundered down the boulders in a cloud of dust and dirt. Before long he was back amongst the grinding and screeching of the villagers and their mining tools. He explained about the squadge hoppers and their homes, he explained about the rain and the water, he pleaded for them to listen. The villagers did not listen. They did not stop.
That evening as the grey thunder clouds collected over the hills, Kiraroo felt sick. The rains began gently at first, the rocks trickled with water. Throughout the night the storm built, rain thrashed against the windows and the wind howled through the rocks. Morning came and Kiraroo dashed down the flowing hillside to the village below. He was met with a lake of water, luckily the walls and roof tops of the village still poked above the murky floods. Everyone was sheltered in the school. “Is everyone ok?” Blurted Kiraroo as he rushed into the school hall.
“We’re all fine,” replied the major. “We are so sorry that we did not listen to you. The main thing is that everyone is ok. Never again will we mine away at the rocks, the creatures help us to live happily in our village. We won’t forget that,” declared the mayor.
Can you think of anything in our environment that helps us? Example answers: trees taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Hedgerows absorbing noise. Worms and other decomposers breaking down organic waste. Ladybirds eating pest insects (aphids)
Kiraroo felt so very relieved, once again he mounted his horse and this time he headed in search of the squadge hoppers, but as hard as Kiraroo searched he could not find them. And to this day he still has not, he knows that they are there amongst the rocks because whenever it rains the village remains dry and safe. Often Kiraroo sits and wonders about what else hides amongst the ancient boulders of his beautiful rocky home.
Did you know that a real creature not so different to a squadge hopper actually exists on earth. It is called a frog hopper and the larva of this creature covers itself in a froth which protects it from predators. Want to see one? Click here.
Protecting the environment Click the link to download the accompanying powerpoint.
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