A long long long long long long time ago, it was just three days after the earth was born and all the little animals were very good to each other.
A long long long long long time ago, a few years after the earth was born, the animals, who were all grown up by now, we’re still very good to each other. The animals all needed only water and no food. They let each other be. Sometimes they held parties on the wonderfully magical glowing rock, Uluru on the little bit of land called Australia. The marsupials, which means animals with pouches to carry their babies, lived in Australia and they were all wild about parties. The marsupials and the glowing rock can still be seen today. You can ask your parents about those.
Anyway, so Uluru was party central for all the animals of the world. They respected the place immensely because they thought that since it was party central, it brought everyone immense happiness. ‘Immense’ means ‘a great deal’. All the animals were immensely fond of Man and Woman, even with all their peculiar habits, such as covering themselves up all the time. The animals all shook their heads about it. But they never complained. Man always had jokes about the Otter, the Elephant and the Snake in a fruit bar. They always had especially punchy punch lines. The older animals, you see were wicked old geezers who rather liked dirty jokes.
The younger animals didn’t complain either, though, because Man and Woman always brought them wonderful toys: made of 100% recycled wood, they were always assured. Woman was well known for her chocolate chip cookies and ice creams; she was even ready for all those lactose intolerant animals and had them fixed up with fully organic dairy simulations; and she and Man were very well known for being very intelligent, helping the animals in matters such as how to get Cat down from the tree.
It is said, kids, that there is no story without conflict. But the world without conflicts was very well run. Everyone lazed around and talked and went to the glowing rock which lit up like an auspicious disco ball all through the party.
‘Auspicious’ means something that is good for you if you like success and dislike failure. ‘Dislike’ is the opposite of ‘Like’. ‘Dislike’ and ‘Unlike’ are very different. You can ask your parents about that. Now, this was all very well, but all this peace and happiness was getting to be very irritating for one of the ministers of the earth. The ministers are large and spherical things which levitate up to six feet off the ground. ‘Levitate’ means ‘float’. These ministers, in fact looked like miniature, multicoloured Suns. ‘Miniature’ means ‘smaller version’.
This particular minister who was getting bored was fond of tricks and practical jokes and fooling around. This was very strange as you can see, because none of these things had been invented yet. To invent means to make something new (often with shiny metal parts). Anyway, so this minister went to his science lab and began experimenting with volatile substances called Attitudes.
‘Experimenting’ is a word which describes what people do when they mix two things and see what happens. ‘Volatile’ is another word for something that goes BOOM very loudly. ‘Substances’ is just a grown up word for ‘things’. You can impress your teacher with these words.
Finally the minister came up with a slimy green substance and he made it alive. He had a cold at the time so when he was asked by his friends what it was, he said it was ‘Greed’. He had meant ‘Green’ but his nose was blocked. He came up with the patent for it (which means a piece of paper on which it says that the maker of something new can call it his or her own and no one else can use it without their permission). Then, the very next day, he gave it to all the animals in equal measure and sat back in anticipation. ‘Anticipation’ is not a chair. It means ‘to wait for something to happen’. In fact the minister sat back on the lowest branch of a cherry tree. There is a fine difference between a cherry and a cherry tomato, which you can ask you parents about.
The different animals stored their portion of the Greed in different parts of their body. They soon found they were experiencing something new. They were feeling hungry. If you are feeling hungry, you may use a bookmark to mark this page and then go have something to eat. The animals also found that the body parts they had used to store the Greed were swelling, rather like a balloon. The Giraffe got the longest neck of anybody, the elephant had stored the Greed all over his body, like the whale, so they became huge.
One day, they decided to meet at Uluru, not to party, but to discuss what to do. After hours and hours of talk in which all the little ones fell asleep, because it didn’t involve chair throwing or food fights, they decided to collect all the Greed and give it to Man and Woman who were busy being greedy and hadn’t attended the council. ‘Attended’ means ‘came to’ and a ‘council’ is where important things are decided.
Man and Woman accepted the Greed graciously and put it with their own portions, in their minds. The animals later discovered that they were stuck in their new shapes and they would need food to live happily ever after. However they no longer took more than they needed for themselves. They became not- greedy. ‘Not-greedy’ is not a real word. But it means ‘content’ which is a real word and which means being happy with what you have.
Meanwhile, Man and Woman had a baby, and then another. Ultimately, they had four babies. They were two boys and two girls. One boy and one girl were given their parents’ Greed but there wasn’t enough to go around and so the other two got none. These two became what you and I call ‘good people’. Eventually they grew up and travelled the world and married the children of other Men and Women.
Everyone today can call either the ‘good people’ or the ‘greedy people’ as their relatives. The greedy pair have more relatives right now. The good thing is that we can choose who to be related to, the good pair or the greedy pair. We can be greedy and be related to the greedy pair, but this wouldn’t be the correct thing to do. We must try our best to be good, and even though sometimes it seems boring, you and I must understand that if we will be good to people, people will be good to us, unless of course they are greedy, in which case they may exploit your good nature.
To exploit means to take advantage of something, which you and I must never do, unless that something is an opportunity to be good people. Really. Just ask your parents. I’m sure they’ll agree with that.