The tiger cub scratched his ear with
his claws. He sat in the dirt, his long tail waving back and forth. "Iíd
like to take a nap, but itís too noisy," he said to the lion cub.
"Noisy? I canít hear anything. There
are no monkeys crying. I canít hear any elephants. I donít even hear any
roars from the other lions," Aba laughed.
"You canít hear all the noises?"
"No! I just told you, I donít hear a
thing," Aba replied. "What sort of noises do you hear?"
"Soft noises, but a lot of them,"
Juma said. He looked around. "Aha! I see who is making all the noise."
Aba laughed. She couldnít see a
thing. "I canít hear a thing. I can see flowers and leaves and I can smell
the zebra and gazelle on the savanna." The lion cub was confused.
"See those ants. Thatís Zina and
Pemba. Listen to them! Theyíre running across the ground, making all sorts
of noise," Juma said.
Aba bent over and put her ear near
the ground. "Canít hear a thing. I see the ants though."
"What about Safiya? Can you hear
her? Sheís slithering through the leaves and sheís very noisy," Juma said.
Aba moved the leaves apart and saw
the snake. "Safiya, where are you going?" she asked.
"Off to the river," the snake hissed
and slithered away.
"I donít think she was making any
noise. Sheís very quiet," Aba said.
"I could hear her body slipping
across the ground. It was nearly deafening to me," the tiger said. "See
the butterfly? Her wings are flapping up and down." Juma put his paws over
his hears. "Stop it! Youíre being too noisy!" Aba listened carefully as
the butterfly fluttered past. She couldnít hear its wings flapping up and
down. "See the worms over there," Juma said, pointing to two fat worms
inching their way across the dirt. "They sound like elephants." Aba
sniffed the worms but heard nothing.
A grasshopper hopped by. "I suppose
you hear that too," Aba said.
"Yes," Juma answered.
"What about that anteater over
there?" Aba asked.
Juma watched the anteater walk past.
Its long snout was twitching as it searched for ants. "It sounds like a
herd of lions snoring. Zina and Pemba, youíd better get out of here
quickly," the tiger warned. The two ants ran into the bushes.
"Hey, Juma, can you hear us?" two
mice called. Chiamaka was hanging from a leaf by his arms. His feet
werenít touching the ground and he wasnít making any noise. Keisha was
holding onto another leave. The only sound coming from her was her
whiskers wiggling in the gentle breeze.
Juma listened. "How do you expect a
tiger cub to get a nap around here with all this noise. I need a nap! Iím
going down to the river. Maybe it will be quieter around the hippos and
crocodiles," he said and ran off.
Aba shook her head. "I donít know
about Juma, but I think itís quiet here. She curled up in a ball and fell
asleep, listening to the gentle sounds of the savanna.