Emily’s first adventure
The jungle was aflutter with the big news. Monkeys shrieked with laughter as they swung through the trees and the elephants trumpeted their joy as they made their way through the trees. Even the jaguars silently slinking through the trees couldn’t hide their smiles.
Today was no ordinary day. In fact, it was a very special day for one of the jungle’s human residents, a little girl affectionately known amongst her animal friends as Emily the Adventurer.
In her beautiful jungle home, built by her father and decorated by her mother, Emily giggled and gurgled away to her best friend Macaco, a Capuchin monkey. Although she couldn’t talk yet, Emily knew that something special was happening today, and she wanted to see what the excitement was about.
Lifting herself onto wobbly legs, Emily toddled into the kitchen, Macaco following close behind. In the kitchen her mother was standing over something large and colourful.
It looked delicious, but Emily usually got in trouble for putting colourful things in her mouth – her parents never let her eat her plastic toys or the pretty flowers and leaves that grew in the jungle.
“Hey princess!” her mummy cried, rushing over to give her a big hug and kiss.
Behind them Emily’s father came in through the front door, carrying a bag of fish he had caught in the nearby river. He put down the fish and walked over to Emily and her mummy.
“Hello beautiful,” he said smiling down at them both.
Emily grinned back at her parents. She loved to be the centre of attention.
Outside, the jungle animals were preparing the festivities. The monkeys leapt from branch to branch as they decorated trees. Some carried flowering vines in their tails, hanging them from high branches, while others broke off dead branches and pulled them away.
On the ground, the elephants marched solemnly around the clearing, flattening the ground, while beetles scuttled at their feet clearing away sticks and other mess.
A herd of deer bounded across the clearing, practicing a dance they were choreographing.
All of the animals worked together to make sure everything was perfect on this special day.
There were a lot of fun things planned for the day, with singing, dancing and games like Pass the Papaya, Toucan Toucan Flamingo and Pin the Plumage on the Peacock.
Humans and animals haven’t always gotten along so well, their different languages and ways of communicating have often led to misunderstandings.
But Emily was different – even before she started making her first human speech-noises she was able to understand more than the average human.
She had befriended Macaco very early on, when the curious little monkey had crept into her house to look for food.
Now they were practically inseparable, and Emily’s parents often had Macaco’s whole family around for dinner, nights that were always very messy but a lot of fun.
One by one, Emily had befriended the jungle animals, winning them over with her wide grin and the mischievous glint in her eye.
As she grew older and started learning to make use of her arms and legs to get around nothing could stop her for long. She loved exploring the things around her,
Although Emily wasn’t always gentle with the animals around her, they were very patient with her, chuckling to themselves when she tried to stand on one’s head or squealed loudly in the ear of another, “it’s the only way she’ll learn”.
And learn she did. Emily was learning many weird and wonderful things from her animal family.
Macaco’s monkey family was teaching her to recognise the difference between safe fruits and berries and poisonous ones.
From the deer she was learning all sorts of acrobatic tricks, while the jaguars were raising her to be a champion hide-and-seeker, showing her all the tricks to hide in the branches of trees or between bushes.
Emily had a wonderful life among the animals, and she loved to play with her friends and learn all that they had to teach her.
Back in the clearing, animals rushed to and fro across the space, making sure everything was in place and ready to go.
In their home, mummy was putting Emily into her prettiest dress while daddy tickled her toes to make her laugh.
Macaco ran in circles around them, he could barely contain his excitement.
“Oh you look so beautiful sweetheart!” mummy exclaimed.
She was dressed up as well, looking stunning in a pretty dress with a big smile on her face.
Daddy looked handsome too, his blue eyes crinkled in a smile.
‘Are you ready to go princess?’ he asked, swinging her up into his arms.
Daddy carried Emily down the stairs at the front of their jungle home, mummy walking next to them with Macaco perched on her shoulder.
They walked through the trees, the jungle around them strangely silent. Emily looked around from her daddy’s arms, taking in everything around her.
She wondered where all her friends were – normally some animals would have popped out to say hello to them by now.
As they walked through the jungle daddy slowed down and let mummy and Macaco walk ahead. They disappeared into the trees, leaving daddy and Emily behind.
Emily wriggled impatiently – she liked to keep moving, and wondered why daddy was walking so slowly.
“Here Emily, look at this pretty flower,” daddy said, pointing to a large colourful flower beside them.
“What do you suppose that’s called?”
Emily looked at the flower for a moment then turned her attention back to the path ahead of them.
Slowly, daddy started walking again. As the trees around them thinned, Emily started to recognise the area. They were heading towards a large clearing that she liked to play in.
As daddy stepped clear of the trees and into the clearing, Emily’s mouth dropped open in shock.
There in the clearing were all of her jungle friends – and they looked so funny!
They had put bright flowers behind their ears and woven strings of vine around their necks for decoration.
At the sight of Emily, all of the animals, who had been unnaturally quiet waiting for her arrival, let out all of the noise they had been holding in.
The elephants trumpeted triumphantly, the monkeys screeched and chattered and the jaguars let out deep-throated roars of joy.
The deer stamped their hooves and reared up in welcome.
Emily was a little frightened by all of the noise and motion, but she saw mummy and Macaco standing in the middle of the clearing and felt better.
As the animals quieted down, mummy came forward with one of the elephants, carrying a large pink cake.
Emily couldn’t read what the words on top of the cake said, but mummy read it out for her.
“See this Emily? It says Happy Birthday!” mummy said proudly.
“Happy first birthday, princess,” daddy chimed in.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” the elephants trumpeted.
“Happyyyyy Birthdayyyy” the monkeys screamed, laughing hysterically.
From the deer, the head doe and stag came forward and lowered their muzzles to Emily, nudging her face affectionately.
“Happy birthday Emily,” they whispered so only she could hear.
Emily beamed back at everyone, delighted to be surrounded by all of her friends and family. She didn’t know exactly what a birthday was, but she decided she liked it very much.