Welcome to Story Quest, a weekly podcast where we bring your stories to life!
In this episode we bring Hari’s story Pablo and The Last Tapir – to life.
If you have a story idea, you could be like Hari and have it turned into a Story Quest. All you have to do is send us your story idea here. We know you have the best imaginations and together we can create the most brilliant stories!
That’s just what Hari did. You can watch the story they suggested come to life below, plus they tell us all about the inspiration behind the story at the end.
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Read along to Pablo and The Last Tapir
You can read along to the story while you listen. Just follow the text below. Don’t worry if you find a word tricky – you can pause the video whenever to give yourself more time.
Pablo and the Last Tapir
Imagine the sound of all the most fearsome creatures in the rainforest converging with a thunderous symphony of nature’s might. Imagine the ROARS in the tangled unerbrish… the defeaning HISS from the anacondas, SCREECHES and HOWLS from the tree tops. Imagine that all these creatures are coming for YOU – you wouldn’t hang around would you? Well hang around and you’ll find out more about who was facing all of that and we’ll start our story in a quieter corner. A corner of the rainforest in fact.
It’s where we find Pablo. Pablo loved animals and I have to say spent more time exploring the forest, playing with his friends than he did going to school or doing chores for his parents. There was Wanda the spider, who was as large as a dinnerplate and wove webs strong enough for a very fat parrot to stand upon (although that would be a very silly thing to do and probably the last thing a parrot would do…) Then there was Anthony the Anaconda, a fearsome snake who was actually quite a good laugh, and Peter the panther, Harold the howling monkey and his amazing climbing skills, Terry the tree frog and then there was Daisy the Cheetah.
Now if you’re really smart and I’m sure you are, (even if you hide it well), you might have realised that you don’t normally find cheetah’s in rainforests. This is true, but this is also a story so you have to sort of go with that, although there IS a reason she ended up here – it’s because she was meant to be sent into another story. I mean a local zoo. But she managed to escape and rainforests are a pretty good place to hide out. Daisy DID keep going on about how the African savannah was AMAZING and how they should all organise a group trip there once which got a bit boring but she was pretty cool too.
One hot and steamy day Pablo was mooching through the forest, avoiding chores and school as usual. He passed the spider’s tree. Wanda was a very old spider. Older than the forest itself it was rumoured. She wove her webs around the tallest tree so thick that you couldn’t see the tops – and shunned the other animals, it was said she was the keeper of the rainforest secrets but you had to be pretty brave to ask her to spill any of them.
“Hope you’re having a good day Wanda!” said Pablo as he went past whistling. Wanda peered suspiciously down, but then waved one hairy leg before scuttling away.
He walked on for a bit through the lush undergrowth and came across an animal he hadn’t seen for a while. It was munching forlornly at some very spiky looking leaves and looking miserable. It was a tapir.
“What’s the matter?” he asked.
“My herd is dying. As the youngest they say I may be the last tapir of all.”
Pablo was shocked – “but I’ve seen your herds – around the marsh pits.”
“That was before the men with chainsaws came. They destroyed our homes and the things we eat – many starved. We are sick and dying.”
Pablo listened sadly. Everyone knew the foresters were slowly taking the rainforest land sending animals fleeing from their homes. Many had already perished under their relentless drive. The man who owned the forestry company, Incrementus Wolf, was a greedy man who even the president couldn’t seem to stop. Pablo had seen him on the news.
“President Pablo is more interested in a poxy little tree frog than his own people he jeered.”
Terry the tree frog who was sitting on Pablo’s shoulder looked very insulted at this. “I’ll have you know I’m the most poisonous creature round here. Don’t worry. Just don’t lick me.”
“But natural herbs, plants, flowers of the sort we can’t imagine – they may lie in the canopy and undergrowth – they could cure all the diseases – like the fabled Moonflower – cures all illness and even can prevent death!” said the interviewer, urgently.
“But that’s just a fairy story! No one’s ever found one so they can’t stop me! So there!” Incrementus huffed, and the President who was struggling to get a word in edgeways just shrugged.
“It hasn’t been found so there’s nothing I can do” said the president weakly.
Pablo screamed at the screen “No one’s ever looked for the Moonflower! That’s why no one’s ever found it!
Then he narrowed his eyes. “If WE find the moonflower the president will have to stop the diggers!”
It was a plan. And plans needed really clever cunning people to help. Wanda! Wanda the Spider knew EVERYTHING. There was no time to lose.
Terry leapt onto Topi’s back and the three of them ran to the wisest creature in the wood. They called to her and eventually they saw her cautiously poke her beady eyed head out.
“We need to find the Moonflower – you know everything about the forest – so where might we find it?”
“Dunno. No idea. Now bugger off”
This was pretty normal for Wanda. Legends had been written for centuries about her rudeness.
Centuries. Hmm… Pablo had a sudden thought.
“Hang on… what could make a spider live for CENTURIES?”
Topi looked thoughtful too.
“And which spider is known for being VERY VERY SECRETIVE About what grows on her tree?”
“WANDA! You’re BUSTED!” yelled Pablo. “We know you’ve got Moonflowers up there – you have to let the world know.”
“SHANT!” came the muffled squeak. “I grew ‘em. Sling your hook!”
“But it’s the only way to save the rain forest. You need the forest too!”
Before they could argue any more there was a deep rumbling – the foresters! They could hear the crunch and crackle underfoot –
“They’re coming RIGHT NOW! They’ll destroy your tree – and the precious moonflowers.”
“Quick!” said Pablo – “Topi – rouse all the animals in the forest – it’s our last chance to stop them. We have to save the moonflower tree. And hope Wanda gets a blooming grip on the situation.”
Word rippled through the forest. Because it was Pablo who was asking they rallied to the call.
The sun hung low in the sky, casting dappled rays of golden light through the dense canopy above. Birds of every colour and size sang joyfully in the treetops, and the air was thick with the scent of blooming orchids and exotic fruits. The foresters, armed with chainsaws and clad in rugged gear, had been working hard, but they had no idea what awaited them.
As they continued their work, a low, rumbling growl echoed through the trees. The foresters paused, their hearts pounding in their chests, as the ground beneath their feet seemed to tremble. It was a sound like no other, one that sent shivers down their spines. They exchanged worried glances and grasped their tools tightly.
From the shadowy depths of the rainforest, a mighty roar pierced the air, and the ground shook once more. The foresters’ eyes widened in astonishment as they saw them coming. Emerging from the underbrush were the most fearsome and majestic creatures of the rainforest, joining forces in a united front against those who threatened their home.
First came the mighty jaguars, their golden fur and fierce eyes gleaming with determination. They prowled silently, their powerful muscles rippling as they moved, ready to strike from the shadows.
Following close behind were the colossal anacondas, slithering gracefully through the tangled vines, their massive bodies coiled and ready to strike. With gleaming eyes and sharp fangs, they were a force to be reckoned with.
Above, the treetops rustled as a fleet of harpy eagles soared down, their enormous wingspans casting ominous shadows. With talons sharp enough to pierce through steel, they circled above, ready to dive and defend their beloved forest.
From the trees, the howler monkeys added their voices to the chorus, their eerie calls echoing through the jungle like a haunting war cry. They swung through the branches with lightning speed, ready to pelt intruders with a barrage of fruit and nuts.
The foresters stood in awe and disbelief, their chainsaws now forgotten. The rainforest had come alive with a symphony of nature’s fury, as creatures big and small joined forces in an incredible show of unity.
Behind them all strode Pablo and the last Tapir. And with Daisy the cheetah of course who’d as we know been meant to end up at the zoo but had escaped. She roared her best roar too.
As the pack of fearsome rainforest animals approached in huge numbers, the foresters had a choice to make.
And they were gone! The animals were astonished and cheered and howled in happiness or croaked or hissed, you get the idea. What was even more astonishing was the sight of Wanda – picking her way towards them shyly. Away from her webs for the first time EVER.
“You were right” she said “The Moonflowers don’t belong to me, they belong to the world.”
And then there was more cheering, hissing, croaking, roaring and all the other stuff.
Soon The precious Moonflower Tree became headline news across the world – President Pablo was finally able to stop the foresters and peace returned to the rainforest.
And who was the first to find out the flower’s power – other than Wanda! Topi! Topi and his herd. They nibbled on the blooms and quickly became strong once more and the herd began to flourish and grow.
And Pablo and Topi stayed firm friends and often reminisced about their adventure around the camp fire at night.
“You might not be the last Tapir” said Pablo – “but hopefully you’re the last to face extinction!” he said. And Tapir was happy to agree.Add a comment