Jungle Safari And The Magic Of The Healing Tree
Jungle Safari And The Magic Of The Healing Tree
I am Sally, your new owner.
Today is 23rd August 1984
Its been quite a few weeks since I have told anybody about the adventure in the Amazon and neither has Jack. For a big brother, Jack isn’t that bad; except for the part where he turns into a scaredy-cat. [yes Jack, you do that a lot, don’t lie to the diary! The next generation will need it as proof that the magic healing tree exists!] He has amber green eyes, chocolate brown hair, dark brown skin, his cheekbones are hollow blanks, overall; he is like those thin, pale boys who live on the streets. Me? I would love to tell you that I looked like a princess, but that isn’t true, I have golden-brown eyes, a thin nose, blond hair, pale skin, and hollow cheekbones, just like him (ugh!). I know, not very impressive, but hey, we live on the streets. Now you’re going to ask how do we know that we are siblings? Hmm, I don’t know, it’s just that when we came to the orphanage, we came together as a pair, at least that’s what I was told by the lady who took care of us in the orphanage.”
“thanks to a lot, baby sister,
For embarrassing me! Oh, and for your information, I am not a scaredy-cat! [what do you mean by ‘we’ll see’ huh?!] Anyways, on with the adventure. One fine day, we were in the library, looking for a new book to read, when a scroll bounced off my head [it’s not that funny! Now shush!] and landed on the ground. Sally picked it up and read out loud ‘into the deepest jungles of the amazon, shall you find the magical healing tree, but beware; the dangers that lie ahead of you, are unknown and ferocious’ Sally, being an enthusiast in the medical field (ugh) tried to protest by saying “oh please brother dear” and whatnot. After two days of pleading, I couldn’t take it anymore and reminded her that the last part of the scroll said that unknown and ferocious dangers lie ahead of us. She was still not convinced. The next morning when I woke up, I found a note that said ‘my dear brother, I am leaving for the amazon jungle alone, since you do not wish to accompany me on this adventure’ so, naturally I ran towards the railway station since there were no other means of transport that we could afford. (Now, you must be wondering that where did we get money from right? Well since we couldn’t go to school like you all, we made money by selling cookies, and if you think it’s a great way to earn money, don’t. Our orphanage headmistress told us to sell cookies and from our earning, fifty percent will be hers, and if our earning is below ten Brazilian reals, then all our earnings will go to her.) Back to the story. When I reached the railway station, I scanned the surroundings and found Sally in the last box. I called out to her, but she seemed to ignore me (stupid baby sisters, never listen to you. Humph!) finally after calling her name ten times, did she lift her right eyebrow as though saying ‘what’s your problem, you irritating kid’ despite that, I rushed towards her box. The train was about leaving, and I knew that it wasn’t enough time to convince Sally, so I climbed into the box and sat right next to Sally. She gave me a blank look, as though she didn’t know me, after a few minutes, I noticed that this wasn’t Sally it was some other girl [don’t laugh Sally, you too had the same hijab! So, I couldn’t differentiate between the two of you! Why are you calling me a crybaby!!] after looking for Sally continuously for an hour, I found her relaxing in the first box, eating a muffin without even realizing that I was glaring at her. Finally, I made an ‘ahem’ gesture to get her attention, when she turned around, I saw an overjoyed expression on her face rather than a scared one, then she hugged me and said “oh my dear brother! I knew you would follow me!” At that point, I was having second thoughts about following her.”
“thanks a lot, brother dear,
For not letting me speak! And why would I have a scared look in front of you huh?! I’ve faced bigger thugs and not shown them even the tiniest amount of fear, then why would I do that in front of you? [he’s saying, it’s because he’s my big brother. Huh, as if] Back to the story. I hugged him and told him that I was really glad that he came for me, but I was worried about him, he looked skinnier than ever. His eyes were bloodshot, as though he had been awake the whole night. He tried to hide it but I could see that he had been worried sick about me, but I let it slide and told him to take a seat next to me and eat a muffin. Two hours later we found ourselves at the entrance of the Amazon jungle. Just as we put one step into it, I heard an elephant trumpeting towards us, then I heard a ‘thump-thump’ sound, I called out to Jack, but found him frozen with fear pointing in the east. (this is what I meant by ‘we’ll see’) When I glanced towards the east, I saw a whole herd of African elephants, I didn’t know how they reached here, but one thing I was sure of; they were here and were advancing towards us. Within a millisecond, I grabbed Jack’s hand and sprinted towards the opposite side (west, duh) when suddenly, out of the blue, a gaggle of zebras raced past us. Then, I heard a distant roar, I looked in its direction and saw a fully grown tiger, irritated about losing its meal. Without thinking, I ran towards the river [Jack says, that that was the best decision I made throughout the whole adventure. Huh, as if he gets to judge me!] over there we found a man with a ship, I asked him that if he could get us away from this side of the forest, he diligently agreed. Once I was on board, I made a few mental notes ‘never ever visit a jungle again’ that’s when the man called out to me and Jack, saying something I didn’t understand. Then he asked me “why are two kids like you here in the amazon” I replied, that we were looking for something very special. His eyes glinted with joy and a wicked grin spread over his face, then he looked at me and Jack sympathetically and said “poor little kids, don’t know that never travel with an unknown person in an unknown place!” and grabbed us with one hand (did I mention that he was a stupid peanut brain?!) since me and Jack had a lot of training to miss surprise grabs like this, because the orphanage had a lot of bullies (trust me, you do NOT want to meet them) so, we just dodged like it was nothing. That’s when our ship came to a halt and we saw a huge hippopotamus standing just one inch away from the hull of the ship.”
“dear baby sister,
Don’t mind me saying this but, seriously, you need to practice your storytelling skills! You did not even give the description of the ship! Watch and learn now. Our ship came to halt right when I was about to do a smack-down on that stupid peanut brain humph! When we looked up, we saw a huge, grey hippo. Despite the fact that it was drenched in water, its eyes resonated anger as if to say ‘hello my new lunch’. A bead of sweat trickled down my neck, the size of the hippo made my legs buckle, a shiver went down my spine, all-in-all I was about to collapse because of the sheer fear that the creature radiated, it made my eyes turn to Jell-O [don’t laugh, Sally, you weren’t any better!] Even Sally looked like she was ready to jump off the ship and swim away. The man who I was about to smack-down, was already up and was sprinting with an AK-48, (by the way, what is his name? hmm I’ll ask after the hippo is dealt with) where he kept it? I have absolutely no idea at all. I appreciate his effort, but all his gun could do was make the sounds of the gun clicking but no bullets came out, he then screamed something in Irish or maybe some other language, I don’t know. This just made the hippo a little agitated, but it didn’t take him back out. That’s when Sally lunged forward with one of the glass bottle shards, I understood what she was trying to do, it was an old trick that we used whenever we got into trouble with the nasty shopkeepers. Sally would distract the shopkeeper, or in this case, the hippo, while I would sneak around and get what we needed, or in this case tie the hippo and drown it, (seriously, who gets the better deal out of this huh?!) [Sally says, that I get the better deal, but the truth is that she gets the better deal] as sally launched herself towards the hippo, I sneaked some extra rope from the storage room and went for an unwanted swim. Once I was near the hippo, I started to tie the rope around its feet, and man! They were stinking like something I can’t mention in this diary because, ‘miss Sally’ thinks that it would be a bad first impression, personally, I think that we should be honest with you guys. (right, back to the story) On the other side (or above) Sally was desperately trying to distract the hippo, while I was trying to cooperate with this hippo’s stinky feet. (ugh, gag me!)”
My turn! What did you mean by ‘I need to work on my storytelling skills’ huh? Do you think that I am a bad narrator [how dare you say that!] Anyways, while this princess was complaining about the hippo’s stinky feet, I was actually fighting it! That too with only a piece of an age-old glass bottle! And man was its hide slippery, half of the time I was having a problem in maintaining a firm grip! Distracting the hippo felt like lifting a fifty-pound weight, now make it ten times its original weight! The only thing which stopped me from giving up was the fire that was burning inside me, maybe it was the anger that had been bottled since all these years, well whatever it was, I was happy that it was helping me fight this hippo. But it wasn’t enough, no matter how deep I cut it with the glass shard, it automatically healed itself, then it dawned on me that if there can be a magical healing tree then why not a magic hippo? (curse the inventor of this magic hippo!) After two and a half hours of hard fighting, victory was ours! (victory royale!) The next two days, were spent by sheer hard work and getting clawed by wild animals and sharp edges of branches, I also learned the name of the man who almost abducted us; his name was Peter Johnson.”
“My turn! My turn!
Oh, my dear baby sister, you have so much to learn, you gave me the pen when the last part of the story was to be written, now I won’t give the pen to you until the end (haha!) [what do you mean by ‘you might be writing the last part but I have won the real argument’?] (oh no! I think I understand what you mean if I write the last part of the story then you get to keep the diary!) At last, we reached the chamber where the tree was located (did I mention that Peter had a map to this place?) we took one step and I heard a ‘hiss’ kind of sound and thought to myself ‘oh no! snakes!? Oh, come on! Anything will work but snakes!’ (those nasty creatures really get to me ‘shudder-shudder’) I tightened my grip around Peter’s hand, he immediately knew that I was scared. Over, the past few days, me, Sally, and Peter had bonded over quite a few silly things but somehow Peter talked about them as though they were logical things, he even told us why he was about to kidnap us, he said “I was trying to protect you from that hippo, its name is Hippolyta, it’s an ancient creature and the protector of the river from which we were passing. Usually, he lets people pass without harming them, but I think he sensed danger when he was close to you” suddenly I remembered what he had said once “remember, everything in this jungle wants to kill you” but someone burst my bubble, then the ‘hiss’ sound became louder as if it were approaching towards us. That’s when Peter shouted “duck!” I bent down and so did Sally, reluctantly but I could tell she was about to burst into laughter because her mouth was filled with air, that’s when Peter slowly started whispering “this creature is called the Serpent eye in English, he is…... well…… the original version of Medusa. No matter what happens, no matter what, don’t make eye contact with it” I wanted to ask why by Sally did that for me and asked “but why can’t we make eye contact with it?” he replied “because if you do that, you will be trapped in an enchanted trance which brings back your worst fears in front of you and drives you crazy” this Serpent eye was starting to make feel queasy and suddenly my lunch wanted to come all out.”
I knew it! You are a scaredy-cat! (anyways, back to the story) after listening to that horrific description, I started to feel anger building inside me, poisoning my thoughts and tempting me to sneak behind serpent eye and stab it, but I controlled it because I knew that if I went out there to face him, then I will surely be trapped in that enchanted trance of his because, I usually scare my enemies with on look from my fierce eyes (not trying to brag here) but in this situation, I couldn’t look in its eyes. (humph!) Peter continued whispering and giving creepy facts about the Serpent eye ‘shudder-shudder’ that’s when Jack’s tone turned urgent and he said “guys, I heard gold clicking” I wasn’t sure how he did it, maybe he was also having those strange instincts like me just with hearing. After trying to process what just happened for two minutes, Peter said “that’s it! The only way to defeat the Serpent eye is to use the magical staff in the gold room! Now, from which direction did you hear the sound Jack?” Jack gave him a confused look as though saying ‘didn’t you hear the sound’ then replied “I guess that way” pointing towards the east (seriously, what’s with east side here in Amazon?) We started towards the chamber, with me at the last and Jack in the front, luckily for us, the Serpent eye didn’t notice (can’t I just call it SE?) [Jason says no because according to him, that will confuse you all] when we entered the second chamber, I would love to tell you that it was all shiny and filled with eye-blinding light but that was not the case of this chamber, it was covered in cobwebs, I heard the sound of the tiny claws of rats and saw earthworms coming in out of the mud underneath our feet (ewwwwww!!) but without even noticing them Peter bowed to some old sword (ugh) as though it was some kind of treasure, then he picked it up and started to polish it that when the Serpent eye attacked (strange, I wonder what it was doing for so long, oh no, got the answer) us, this time he was in an armor that radiated fear. (okay, what is it with strange magical amazon creatures and fear radiation?!) The armor looked a little rusty, but I knew that if it got polished, then it would be the shiniest thing in this whole universe. He lunged at Peter, but Jack threw some kind of pot from the heap of ‘so-called gold’ materials at it, the pot hit the Serpent eye’s nose, the only place along with its eyes which was not covered.” (how do I know that its eyes weren’t covered? Well its common sense, if he covers his eyes then how will he be able to defeat his opponent)
My dear sister what did I tell you about your storytelling skills? Well, after listening to your descriptions, I have only two words, ‘practice more!’ now, watch and learn. Serpent eye’s armor was drenched in moonlight, it would have looked even more intimidating if Serpent eye wasn’t just like a human with snake hair sprouting all over his face, but what really made him intimidating was the venom that was dripping from all those snake mouths ‘shudder-shudder’ otherwise he looked like the usual amazon creatures. He lunged towards Peter, aiming to grab the sword, I didn’t know what that sword could do, but I knew one thing, that if he is aiming for it then it has something that could help us defeat him. So, I threw the heaviest thing I could find, which, apparently was a pot, so I mustered all my energy and threw the pot at him, while giving Peter an urgent look, to convey to him that he should polish the sword faster. Meanwhile, Sally was frozen, for some reason at first, I thought she had stared at Serpent's eye, then I realized that she was formulating a plan. I tried to look for ideas when I realized that the answer to our victory was lying right in front of us. I called out to Peter and said ‘peter! This human-snake is a worshipper of the night and represents the color silver! So, we need something gold to defeat him!’ he replied ‘I know that! That’s the reason why I am polishing this sword! This sword is made from the ultra-violet rays of the sun, the purest rays according to the amazons!’ I understood what he said and gave one look to Sally hoping that she would understand. That’s when the Serpent eye came out of his dizziness and lunged towards me (news flash: human-snakes will get only angry if you throw something heavy at them, they won't die) this time I didn’t have anything around me, then I sensed something as if it were calling to me, I let it in and the next second, I saw Serpent eye covered in a million pieces of blinding gold. I didn’t know who did it or how, but I just thanked the lords for saving me (later, I realized that I was the one who saved myself) The snake-human didn’t stay down for long, but that was enough time for Peter to fully polish the sword and sharpen it edges a bit. The sword looked like a devil, in the light, it was a long five-foot, gold sword etched with the symbols of the sun. peter offered it to me while saying “here, you captured the Serpent eye, you are the only one who has full right to wield it and use it against him” I took the sword and with one swish, the snake-human/ Serpent eye was gone. I felt proud of myself, but that didn’t last very long because then Peter said “don’t be overjoyed just yet, the Serpent eye has only gone into a deep slumber, has not been fully killed. To kill him, you would have to slice him to bits in his sleep with the help of Ka’s sword. But the one thing that I don’t understand is, Ka is the guardian of this sword as well as the tree, Serpent eye shouldn’t have been here. But no matter, we defeated him, at least now he won’t be back for about a millennium” my mouth fell open, (like, seriously, who sleeps for a millennium?) Peter just chuckled a little at my expression, then said “you both have done well, I think you should eat one leaf each” I had completely forgotten about the tree, then I found it right in front of me, I ignored the fact that it appeared in front of us magically, because if I put any more brains to figure magic’s logic, then I am sure I would faint. Nevertheless, I put one leaf in my mouth, the experience was not worth it. It tasted like two days old fish fried in sunflower oil (bleh) but it sure did make me feel a little energetic, or maybe a little more than ‘a little’ energetic because once I had swallowed the leaf, I felt like I just had ten cups of cappuccino and my body was feeling restless (apparently this healing tree also made you feel restless) even Sally was grinning like crazy [ow! Why did you hit me Sally!] Peter then said ‘are you ready for your next adventure?’ I felt like someone had smacked me between the eyes, I thought to myself ‘seriously! Not now! we just finished one quest; can’t you give me a break?!’ but Sally was having other ideas, she quickly said ‘where are we going Peter?’ he calmly replied ‘to the home of snakes, west forest’ I glanced at Sally to ask ‘are you sure?’ her eyes were telling me that now she has asked the location, there is no backing out from this’ I agreed, and on with our next adventure we went (oh-uh, this diary is finished, we’ll meet you again after we get a new diary, he-he) this is Jack signing off, oh and Sally too. Meet you after