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Geronimo the Sloth

2006-07-13 21:54

  Geronimo the sloth hung upside-down, swinging by his toes from a branch of a tall tree in the deepest part of the forest.

  “Wake up, Geronimo,” shouted the parrots. “Don't hang there dreaming all day!”

  Geronimo replied in a slow, deep rumble:

  “I am wide awake, thank you - thinking very deep thoughts.” At this the parrots chattered with laughter.

  “You're just a lazy, stupid good-for-nothing. You will never do anything important hanging upside-down.”

  “Who wants to do anything important?” asked Geronimo. “I don't. I am just happy to swing here, and look at the sky.”

  The parrots flew away in disgust. But Geronimo was not lazy or stupid. He watched everything that went on in the forest, and thought deeply about it.

  That summer, the river dried to a muddy trickle. There was no rain. All the trees and grasses were drying up in the heat.

  “Parrots-listen,” called Geronimo. “I smell danger.” The parrots ignored him.

  “There will be a forest fire soon,” said Geronimo, in a very serious voice. “I have thought it all out. The trees and the grass are dry. They will burn easily. It is time for us all to move.”

  Saying this, Geronimo swung off his branch, and began his slow journey away from that part of the forest. When the parrots saw Geronimo leaving, they realized he must be speaking the truth, so they too flew off to find a new home where there was less danger of a forest fire.

  Some days later, Geronimo and the parrots reached a place where the river was deep again, and wide. Geronimo crossed it on a floating log. As he reached the opposite bank, the parrots saw smoke and flames far away in the distance.

  “Thank you, Geronimo,” said the parrots. “We will never call you stupid or lazy again. Without your deep thoughts, we would never have been saved.”

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