Dumdum stopped collecting the branches. He looked around the forest. But he did not see anything. Dumdum continued his work. It was not the first time for him to hear strange voices in this forest. It could be the sounds of animals.
This time Dumdum knew exactly that it was not an animal. He walked quickly to the place where the voice came from. He saw an old man under a big log.
“Help me please… I can’t stand it anymore.”
Dumdum used all his energy to move the log. Sweating and panting, he finally succeeded in moving the log.
The old man was happy. He sat on the log, next to Dumdum. “Oh, thank you, kid. Now, please tell me what you want…”
“It’s OK, Sir,” Dumdum answered, still panting.
“Just mention one thing that you need, kid.” The old man kept asking Dumdum. His right hand tapped Dumdum’s shoulder.
“Well, actually there’s one thing that I really need,” said Dumdum.
“Aha!” the old man shouted out. “What’s that, kid?” The old man looked at Dumdum. He was waiting patiently for Dumdum’s answer.
“But it’s not really important,” said Dumdum. He was doubtful.
“Just say it.” The old man didn’t give up.
“I need a blackberry,” said Dumdum quickly.
“A blackberry?” asked the old man.
“Err, I know it’s expensive…but I need it to contact my parents,” Dumdum said softly.
“No… no… It’s OK. It’s not expensive.” The old man grabbed his canvas bag. “How can a blackberry be used to contact others?” he mumbled. He looked into his bag. Then he took everything out. He looked disappointed. “Sorry, I can’t give it to you today. Please come back here tomorrow morning. I’ll give you the blackberry that you want.” The old man smiled nicely.
Dumdum woke up very early. He didn’t want to miss the chance of seeing the old man in the forest. He ran to the forest. He ran to the log. He ran to see the old man. But the old man was not there. He waited and waited.
Dumdum jumped when someone touched his back. It was the old man with his nice smile.
“Sorry, kid. I got up late,” said the old man. “But I remembered my promise.” He gave Dumdum a paper bag.
Dumdum opened the paper bag. And he saw a small blue berry lying on the bottom of the bag.
“It’s hard to find the black ones these days. That’s the blue one.” The old man smiled nicely. “Can you use it to contact your parents?”
Dumdum was speechless.
CnS Junior Edition 100 Vol. IX January 2012