Welcome to #ClimateStory4Kids!
Trees are very important for the environment because as they grow, they capture CO2 through their leaves but deforestation due to human activities is resulting in the decline of trees and contributing to carbon emissions.
In today’s episode of #ClimateStory4Kids, we’ll tell a story of how Dalila and some Kajiji villagers sacrificed their lives to save the trees. We hope you enjoy it.
A long time ago in a village called Kijiji, there lived a girl called Dalila. Kijiji was a village that was close to Kaya in Uga.
The village got its name because of the many Kijiji trees that grew there, majestically towering above the huts. Trees and animals were sacred to the people of Kijiji village and they made sure to take great care of them – plants, trees, and animals alike.
You could see goats, hares, deer, and peacocks roaming fearlessly in the village. This was to tell you how the people of Kijiji valued these creatures.
The people of the village remembered what their elders used to tell them, “Plants and animals can survive without us, but we can not survive without them.”
Dalila, like the villagers, loved the trees and called them her friends. She would get up early every morning and greet them.
Dalila would choose a special tree for the day and put her arms around the tree trunk and whisper to the tree, “Friend, you are strong and beautiful. You care for us. Thank you tree. I love you very much. Give your strength to me also.”
The other children who also had their special trees, would play for hours in the shade of the trees and whisper kind words to them.
However, things took an entirely different turn some years later when Dalila was all grown up.
One day, when she went to greet her trees like she always did, she saw that there were some strangers in her village. They had axes with them.
They said that the King had sent them to cut trees for wood and that the wood was needed for building the King’s palace.
Dalila was shocked at this revelation. Did the King not know how trees were important to the village? Dalila thought to herself.
She went to the tree that the men were about to cut and put her arms around the tree and hugged it tightly. The men shouted and threatened her, but Dalila did not let go of the tree.
The King’s men were irritated by the intrusion. They had to follow the King’s orders and cut the tree but Dalila was in their way.
Some villagers that were returning from their farming activities saw what was happening and ran to the village to alert the others.
“Look, young lady,” one of the men angrily addressed Dalila. ‘We have to cut those trees whether you like it or not and we do not care if we have to cut you along with them.” the man finished off menacingly.
Something from the man’s tone suggested he was going to follow through with the threat but Dalila did not budge. She hugged the tree tighter, like her life depended on it.
“You have chosen death, I see.” another of the men said, taking a step towards Dalila. He had an axe in his hand and he raised it up to strike Dalila.
“Stop!” A voice cried out from the bushes. When Dalila raised her head to see what was happening, she saw the hand of the man with the axe frozen mid-air. It was being held by her father.
Relief washed over Dalila. From where she was, she could see the other villagers arriving at the scene.
The villagers – old and young – hugged the trees one after the other to protect them.
Many people, including Dalila, were struck down. They died to save the trees.
When the King heard of this, he could not believe that people gave up their lives for trees. He visited the village to see for himself and discovered that it was, indeed, true. There he learned about villagers’ respect for trees and animals.
The villagers’ strong feelings for trees affected the King greatly and he ordered that from then on, no tree would be cut and no animal would be harmed in that area.
Even to date, almost five years later, the people of Kajiji, called now called Mji, continue to protect plants and animals. Even though it is in the middle of the desert, Mji remains green and animals continue to roam freely without fear.