The story of Number Forest (download – pdf)
Far, far away there lay a lonely forest. It was a completely average forest, with no spectaculair mountains or century-old trees.
It was a hot summer day, the entire forest was quiet. Only an old squirrel was searching the ground for food, so that he would have enough of it in wintertime. When he got tired, he leaned on his walking stick and started thinking about old times. When he was young, the forest was full of life. Many children came to the forest to play on Sundays.. Barely anybody came to visit the forest nowadays. Even the people who ventured into the forest on rare occasions were busy looking at a little box in their hands, which they sometimes even talked to! No animal in then forest had ever seen anything like that before. The children only paid attention to the forest, and tried to spot the animals. They even brought treats for them! Of course, there were also rascals who tried to throw stones at the squirrels, but most of the children were very nice and kind.
– Those good old times- sighed the squirrel.
– What did you say, neighbour?- asked the blackbird, who just came home fromm her flying trip.
– Oh, nothing important, I was just remembering the good old times. It would be so nice if there was happiness in our forest again!
– That’s interesting. I just visited one of my friends in one of the neighbouring forests and he told me the animals there had opened a school inside the forest. Much more people have been visiting the woods ever since then.
– Why haven’t WE thought about this before?
– I think opening a school is a great idea! Lets hold a council meeting- said the hidden in the leaves butterfly, who was eavesdropping on the conversation.
And that is exactly what they did. The bird informed the whole forest, that all animals should gather under the oldest oak tree at twilight. After she has done that, she went to visit the wise owl together with the old squirrel. They told him about their plan. The owl liked the plan very much, because he had always found education important.
Twilight arrived soon. All the animals gathered around the oldest oak tree. They were very curious and excited, because the last time a meeting was held was a very long time ago.
At last the wise owl arrived and fluttered his wings, thereby expressing his wish to speak. Everybody fell quiet.
– My dear friends! Thank you all for coming here. This is a very important day in the history of our forest. I think we should make this forest more interesting and appealing to future visitors. We could open a school. We could build a street in the prettiest part of the forest and put houses there, that can help teach children about numbers, so that they won’t mix them up. A very small hpuse should stand at the front of the street and the biggest one should stand on the very end. The houses between them should be increasing in size. This makes it very simple to memorise numbers. So I would like to hear your opinions and thoughts on this idea.
– I have an idea! I think we should put apple trees next to each house, with as many apples in them as the house number on the house. Children often learn to count with apples in books.- exclaimed the catterpillar.
– Yeah, right! You only want that so you can eat all the apples. We already have very few apples trees in the forest, thanks to you!- said the hedgehog.
– You’re the one who always eats the apples!-retorted the caterpillar.
– Quiet!- The wise owl ended the fight. – Caterpillar’s idea is brilliant. However, we should carve the apples out of wood, so that the number of them will stay the same all the time. We only have a few apple trees at the edge of the forest.
– I can do the carving.- volunteered the woodpecker.
The squirrel volunteered to paint the numbers on the houses and hands on the windows that show which number that house is.
The little fox that loved flowers promised to plant flowers next to the houses. The number of plants show which number that house is, and also whether that number is even or uneven.
There was a lot of commotion during the following months inside the forest. Everybody was working hard to finish Number Street on time. The blackbird and some other birds dropped flyers down in the area to inform everyone of the grand opening.
When autumn arrived, the houses gleamed in the sunlight, freshly covered in paint. Everybody was happy for taking their part in the work, but the tenants were the happiest, because they received such pretty homes. All of them waited impatiently for their first visitors. The little mouse, who lived in house number four, proudly showed everyone his new rolling dice. He volunteered to help all the struggling students, and if they didn’t know something, he would show the correct answer with his rolling dice.
So everything was settled. There was answer to every problem. Everybody saw the hard work hidden behind the beautiful outcome. Only the visitors had to come to complete everything. I hope you will glady visit Number Forest to get to know everything about numbers. Your friends are waiting for you; the ladybug, the caterpillar, the butterfly, the tiny mouse with the rolling dice, the blackbird, the squirrel, the rabbit, the fox, the wild boar and the bear.