For a long time, Bobiță the chimpanzee lived in that pretty, chic city in Europe called Timișoara. People got used to him, it was normal to meet Bobiță Chimpanzee when you went to buy milk, for example. Or if your mum or dad takes you to the kindergarten in the morning at eight or eight thirty in the morning on foot, it's normal to meet the Chimpanzee Bobiță, who is jogging at that time, near the park. All you have to do is say hello. Wave your hand and say "Good morning, Bobiță!" and he'll say, "Good morning, pretty boy." Bobiță still has a chimpanzee accent and sometimes slurs his words, but otherwise he has learned Romanian very well.
True, some parents drive their children to kindergarten or school because they're in a hurry for work, but our Bobiță encourages everyone to walk or cycle because it's healthier.
Very rarely, Bobiță had to go by transport. He usually took the tram, because he really liked this means of transport that he had discovered in Timișoara.
Only one day it suddenly got a bit cold, as it sometimes happens in autumn in Timisoara. (We must confess, in parenthesis, that Bobiță was used to everything except the cold and the winter here.) Bobiță thought of taking a quick Uber. He had once taken a taxi but didn't want to anymore because of the smell of cigarette smoke in that yellow car, and Bobiță only liked fresh air. So he took an Uber to get home quicker, with the idea of warming up there with a hot tea. The driver was a very nice guy who knew Bobiță, he had heard about him on the news about three years ago, when Bobiță had invented that powder that had driven the virus out of the city. But that's another story!
As they were walking towards Bobiță's house chatting, a little girl crossed the street even though it was green for cars and red for pedestrians. Luckily, the driver paid attention and put on the brakes! The little girl got scared and froze on the crosswalk, and Bobiță quickly jumped out of the car to check if the little girl was okay. He hugged her until she calmed down and then offered to take her home in the Uber.
The little girl's name was Sindy, she was about ten years old. When she had calmed down, the chimpanzee Bobiță asked the little girl:
- But how come you weren't paying attention and crossed on the red light?
- I was thinking about my mother and father, plus in our country, where I come from, there are not many
traffic lights and pedestrian crossings, except very few in big cities.
- But where do you come from? asked the driver.
The girl fell silent.
- Look, I also came from somewhere far away, from Africa, a few years ago. Bobiță continued.
We ran away from there, because people had cut down the forest, which is called jungle in my country, so much that there were always floods and we had nowhere to live. Hearing Bobiță, the little girl Sindy took courage and confessed that she too had had to leave her home, her country, because a tornado had brought everything down in one night. A tornado is a very violent storm in which strong winds combine with heavy rain. Sindy had first fled to a nearby village, but there, because of the tornado, toxic water had arrived from the mine in the neighbouring village, and all the fruit, vegetables, including bananas had been contaminated.
- I didn't listen to my mother, who told me we couldn't eat bananas anymore. I was hungry and took a bite of a banana, and after a while I got red, itchy blisters all over my body. Luckily my mother knew her cures from her grandparents, my great-grandparents, and made a potion from coconut milk. I mean two kinds of potion, one I used for the blisters and the other I drank. Immediately, in less than a day, I got better. A lot of people got sick, and my mother worked around the clock to make a lot of coconut milk potion to make everyone well. Then I left with my aunt, because there were no bananas of any kind and no onions, no avocados, we had nothing to eat. So I left. But my mother stayed there to make people well.
- You know what I was thinking? asked Bobiță. How about we bring coconut milk potion here too? Or, even better, let's bring the coconut and invite your mother here with us to teach us how to make that magic potion and save as many lives as possible with it.
- That would be nice, the little girl replied.
- I'm offering to bring little Sindy's mother by Uber from anywhere in the world! The driver, whose name was Mitica, intervened. And if I'm going after her, I'm going to fill the car with lots and lots of coconut, so we can make that potion, so people won't have allergies and skin blisters and stuffy noses.
- And you and your mother can stay at my place, added Chimpanzee Bobiță, remembering how hard it had been for him to find a warm place to sleep five years ago, when he arrived here alone in Timisoara.
Next, what do you think happened?
Our driver set off on the longest journey of his life. But that's a story in itself, and a whole book's worth of stories, considering the many mishaps he had on the way, crossing so many countries and continents to reach his little girl's mother.
In the meantime, Bobiță has started to teach Sindy to speak Romanian well and to pay attention at pedestrian crossings, and to always look left and right before crossing, regardless of the traffic light.
The little girl's mother was overjoyed when she finally reached her little girl at the home of Chimpanzee Bobiță. She hugged Sindy for minutes and cried tears of joy. The three of them immediately set to work and made many gallons of special coconut milk potion, to a recipe known only to the little girl's mother. The driver Mitica took the potion to people suffering from allergies, and they were so happy to get rid of their rashes, blisters and stuffy noses.
Our story might end here, but not before Bobiță tells you the conclusions:
ONE - Always be careful when crossing, children. Some people are in a hurry all the time, it's better to be the careful ones!
TWO - Remember that every disease has an antidote, i.e. a cure in nature. As long as we take care of the nature around us, it will take care of us.
THREE - Be kind to those around you, don't rush to scold or judge them. Rather talk to them and find out their story. For the goodness you give to the world always finds a way to return to you. Or as fourth- grader Sophie, Sindy's best friend, would say: "The kindness you put into the world, it always has a way of coming back to you!"
The project „Unity in Diversity - Romanian and African Fairy Talesˮ is part of the National Cultural Programme „Timișoara - European Capital of Culture in 2023” and is funded by the Grow Timișoara 2023 programme, run by the Project Center of the Municipality of Timișoara, with funds allocated from the state budget, through the budget of the Ministry of Culture.
The project „Unity in Diversity - Romanian and African Fairy Talesˮ is part of the National Cultural Programme „Timisoara - European Capital of Culture in 2023 and is funded by the LoB2023+ programme run by the Centre for Culture and Arts of Timis County, with funds allocated from the state budget, through the budget of the Ministry of Culture.