©Andrés Díaz Marrero
Adriana and Isabel met
underneath the mango tree, as they had planned. They brought
with them some toy tools. A hammer, a handsaw and a pair of
"Let's go to work!" Adriana said, and began to strike the trunk of the mango tree as if she were nailing. Isabel started to play as if she were sawing one of the branches.
"Help! Please help! Somebody is knocking down my house! Help! please help!" someone said.
Adriana and Isabel both stopped playing. They watched with awe a small cricket that gestured while yelling and crying for help.
"A cricket that speaks!"Isabel exclaimed.
"Of course I can speak! I can speak and sing and jump, as I please, but that is no reason for knocking down my house." The cricket said.
"I am sorry Mr. Cricket! We were just playing carpenters! These tools are not real; they are toy tools made of plastic." Adriana argued.
"That's true. This handsaw is a toy. It's not for cutting wood. It just makes noise." Isabel added.
"But, the blows of the hammer and the rattled of the handsaw are real; and they scare me. They scare me a lot. I thought the story was going to be repeated". The cricket replied."What story?" Both girls asked at the same time.
"I was living next to a creek, in a place surrounded by flowers and leafy trees. Then came the -land developers- who bought the land to construct houses and shopping malls.
They cut down the trees and level off the earth to construct
buildings and factories.
Almost all of the trees and vegetation was replaced by asphalt, brick and concrete. Without trees and vegetation there was less rainfall. Nearly all of the birds and animals went to live some place else. A lot of people got sick because there was not enough potable water." said the cricket"
Water what?" Isabel asked. "Potable water it's water that is safe for drinking. It's water that people can drink without fear of becoming ill." The cricket answered.
"Please, go ahead with the story," Adriana begged.
"Well, as I was saying, nearly all of the birds and animals left the place and many people became sick because lack of fresh water. Workers moved to healthier places with their families. The factories were shut down. The shopping malls were closed too because there were no one to work or to shop for goods. After a while, the place became a ghost town. In spite of it all, I decided to stay. I did not want to leave… I was born there! Then something frightful happened..."
"Adriana, Isabel! It's bath time! It's time to get ready! Your parents will be here soon." That was grandma calling them. Both girls were cousins. Their grandmother took care of them while the parents worked.
"We'll be there in a moment grandma! Give us a little more time," Adriana pleaded.
"Ok, but five minutes only," The grandmother answered.xxx
"Please Mr. Cricket, finish your story
before we go," Isabel asked.
"The frightful thing that happened was… that a hurricane struck our place! The windstorm and the large amount of rain that fell caused a giant mudslide that wiped out the whole town! I barely escaped being buried, by jumping to a piece of stick that floated down the flooded creek. And, well… I am here, and you want to knock down my little house?" cried the cricket.
"We are very sorry, Mr. Cricket! We would like to be friend's," Adriana said.
"That's ok! I already forgot about it. Yes, I forgot it! It was just a scare," the cricket replied.
"Mr. Cricket, we needed your help! Our parents are planning to cut down the trees that are at the back of grandma house," Isabel said.
"Yes, the ones on the foot of the hill," Adriana agreed.
"Please Mr. Cricket! We want you to come with us to our grandma's house. We want our parents to listen to your story! We don't want the same to happen to us," both girls pleaded.
"I cannot. I never speak to adults. I only talk to children," the cricket replied.
"But we need to warn them!" Isabel begged.
"That, I leave it to you," the cricket answered, leaping away from them with a big jump.