Once upon a time, in a land far, far away……
Yes, it's a story, so sit back and get in the mood.
Anyway, I digress, back to the plot. Once upon a time, in a land far, far away there was a beautiful forest, which was filled with all types of trees, flowers and grasses. It was a sight to behold, a feast of the senses, with bees buzzing and birds singing. The scents of the flowers and herbs filled the air and the colours of the woodland filled the eye with joy. This was a truly beautiful place.
As with most forests, this area was filled with lots of animals, from the tiniest ant to the biggest eagle, the fastest weasel to the slowest snail.
All of these animals had jobs to do. Some would collect twigs and moss for home building and others would gather berries and nuts for food. They would spend the summer and autumn months madly rushing about gathering in this bountious harvest in preparation for the cold slow winter when there would be so food available.
When the food was gathered, a special team of spiders would carefully sort through the berries, and using their own magic web thread they would string the berries together and hang them up to dry.
Everyone was very, very careful about their food. Nothing was wasted, everything was saved to make sure that the animals got through the harsh winter safely and well.
Come the Spring everyone was so happy to see sunlight again and to discover all the new and exciting growth of new food in the forest.The animals would fairly dance and sing with excitement.
They would have fresh food at long last and not have to eat all those dried out berries and nuts, what joy!
It was at this point that the forest elders made a HUGE mistake. They told all the worker animals that the old food could now be thrown out of the stores and that they could do with it just what they wanted.
Well, some of the animals took away nuts etc and made clever and useful things out of them – bowls, cups, carvings, lamp shades etc. A crafting industry was born.
As another group of animals were trying to sort out nuts from the pile, it all toppled over ane the nuts all tumbled and rolled in every direction. The animals leapt out of the way and jumped about trying to catch the rolling nuts. It was tricky work, but do you know something, the animals (male animals it has to be said) were having fun. They liked passing the nuts to eachother, kicking them with their paws and dodging about.
Once they had cleared up all the nuts, they decided to keep the very best one. This was the very roundest and hardest nut. It rolled perfectly and could fairly fly through the air when a furry paw struck it in just the right way.
These animals had found themselves a game, a form of entertainment. They honed their skills, they invented special places to play their beautiful game, and they made up rules (even one called 'the offside rule' that confused everyone). What fun!
Now move the clock forward, time has past, people rule the earth and forests are fewer. So many changes in the world such a different place.
Aha, one thing is the same. There are people running around with a ball and making a lot of fuss. So this week, at this time, when you are already sick and tired of the very words "World Cup Football" when it hasn't even started yet, stop, think, and remember all those cute little furry forest creatures who started it all. Wouldn't you like to stomp on their nuts.