Enjoy the continuing saga of Animal Kingdom Adventures. If you missed the first installment, “The Lion and the Porcupine Declare the Day,” you can read it here.The second installment is about Daniel Gollimer, a gopher. He is not an animal that others want to be around. At the end of “Daniel Gollimer Keeps a Record”, Daniel has just left the meeting of the forest friends and tunneled to his underground abode. He was full of doom and gloom, as his nickname depicts, and some of the animals decide he needs help. Will they be able to turn him around? Keep reading.
“Well somebody needs to go in after Mr. Doom and Gloom. If not he’ll burrow down and be there for months and come out worse than ever,” Jerry, one of the giraffes urged. “I don’t believe I’m the one to do it, but somebody needs to at least try.”
“I’ll go,” said Charity, a chipmunk. I’m a little smaller than he is, and I can sneak in his tunnel and surprise him.”
“But, he’s going to fill your head with all of that scary talk,” Chuck, the woodchuck said. “I’ll go! He won’t scare me none. I’ve lived longer, and I know we have to trust God for our food and safety. He’s never let us down. Let me go talk to him. I’m going in.”
“Chuck, no offense but you’re almost twice as big as Daniel, and I think you might have a little trouble getting in.” Charity said “I really want to do this. He’s family, and I know I can help him see the truth. If we can get him thinking and believing like the rest of us, that will help everyone, especially Daniel Gollimer. The giraffes will have to find a new nickname for him instead of ‘Mr. Doom and Gloom’ if I have anything to say about it!”
Charity scampered off toward the entrance to D.G.’s tunnel. Nose to the ground, she silently dashed into it. “Oh, Mr. D.Geeeeee.” she called as she made her way swiftly through the first tunnel covering about 15 feet per second. Suddenly she stopped because something large and furry was right in front of her. It had no mouth, no eyes, no nose. “Uh-oh, Mr. D. G. I am right behind you. Can you turn around?”
“No, I can’t turn around, Miss Charity.” He squeaked. “I can only go in one direction, and it always seems to be the wrong direction.”
“Mr. Daniel, sir. I have a great idea. Just step backward one step at a time. Every time you take a step back, say, ‘Everything is going to be okay.’ Take another step back, ‘Everything is going to be okay.’ Step back. ‘Everything is going to be okay.’ Did you understand? Can you hear me, sir?” Charity squealed.
And Daniel Gollimer squeaked back at her, ” Miss Charity, what are you talking about? I was born to dig tunnels underground. I dig with my teeth and front claws then kick the dirt back. You better get out of the way. While I’m kicking dirt, I think about things. I think about all the bad things that are going to happen. You had better get ready Miss Charity. Save yourself. Hide away until calamity passes. You better get out of my way. Here comes some dirt.”
Charity stepped back some, chittered and sighed, “No sir, Mr. D. G. God loves us and cares for us, and He always makes a way for us to escape. Being joyful and grateful and full of faith are the answers to finding your way, Mr. Gollimer. We need you to help us fill the forest with faith and joy. You’ll help us, won’t you?”
The gopher stopped digging. “You need me?”
“Yes, sir,” she heartily affirmed.
Daniel took a step back. “No one ever said that to me before, Miss Charity.” He stopped in his tracks, and thought for a full minute while she waited patiently behind him and watched for any movement of his tail. Finally she heard him squeak, “If you need me, I’ll try. What do you want me to say?”
Charity repeated her instructions to step back and say, “Everything is going to be okay.” She made her way backwards through the tunnel herself, encouraging D. G. to keep backing up until he could turn around. Along the way, she reminded him of God’s love and faithfulness and that there was nothing to fear. By the time they had backed out of the tunnel all of the way, she saw a slight grin appear on his furry face as he turned around. Together they scurried back to the creek to tell the giraffes and other animals the good news that D. G. had turned around.
Will D.G. get a new nickname? And what about that rumbling he heard in the distance?
Fun Facts About Gophers:
- Gophers weigh about eight ounces and are about five to twelve inches long.
- They spend their days and nights creating intricate subterranean tunnels as much as eighteen inches underground. These are called gopher towns.
- A gopher town may contain thousands of gopher residents.
- Gophers rarely come above ground.
- Gophers’ cheek pouches open from the outside and can turn completely inside out for cleaning.
- They use these pouches to carry food to the burrow where they hoard astonishing amounts of berries, nuts, seeds, grains, and insects.
- Gopher eyes and ears are barely visible, but the sensitive whiskers and tail make up for the weakness in their hearing and sight.