The creatures in the forest called the quiet and inconspicuous little herb Herbee… because they always see her playing with her best friend Mr. Bee. Herbee is not native to this forest; her forefathers were accidentally introduced here as seeds by humans many generations ago. The humans have long moved to other land, so this is how Herbee got here, according the centuries old tamarind tree that towers beside little Herbee. No wonder Herbee has a special affinity to humans; she is a domesticated plant living in the midst of a wild forest.
Herbee, was a “minor” member in the plant world. She does not have the longetivity of the tamarind tree, the majesty of the hardwoods, the resilience of the bamboos, the beauty of the orchids, the strength of the climbing vines, or the edible goodness of the fruiting trees. But Herbee, like many other native herbs that live in the forest, had a gift, a very special gift. Within their flowers, seeds, leaves, or roots are unique natural molecules that cure many illnesses in the animal kingdom – they are what humans call medicinal herbs. From animal to man, carnivore to herbivore, tree-dweller to ground dweller, those who knew how to harness the power of medicinal herbs are rewarded with the gift of health and healing.
Herbee was a particularly likable herb as she willingly shares her healing properties to friends and strangers alike. Even though she has to give away a part of her, she is happy to make their illnesses disappear as she knows she will grow back to her complete self in a few days or weeks.
One day, a little fairy became separated from her family and was lost deep in the forest. For hours she searched for her mother in vain, sobbing, crying, and shouting at the top of her voice. Hungry and alone, soon she became very tired and weak. Fortunately, the little fairy sought refuge under the tamarind tree besides Herbee. Herbee wasting no time, cupped some rain water with her leafy hands and let the little fairy drink a special mix of herbs. Soon the little fairy was fast asleep and quietly resting.
The following morning, with the help of Mr. Bee and the tall tamarind tree, little fairy got finally reunited to her mother and father, who turn out - to Herbee’s surprise - to be the Queen Fairy and King Fairy of the forest. “Herbee, you truly are a helpful and selfless plant, tell me what you want so I can repay you”, said the Queen Fairy. “Queen Fairy, the little princess has told me that our forest is getting smaller and smaller everyday because of the insatiable need of humans for food, land, and materials to build their urban jungles”, Herbee said. “This is why little princess had to venture too deep into the forest to collect her favorite mushrooms.” Herbee added, “If you will allow me, I would like to be at your service my Queen Fairy. In my own small way I would like to help enlighten humans to appreciate better the forest and hence care for it more. As a medicinal herb, I would like to teach them of what their ancestors have known all along… that natural cure to many of their ailments can be found in the forest. I will introduce them to my other herb friends which are much safer to use than their synthetic drugs. And I will make them realize that these valuable gifts of nature will forever vanish if they do not save the forest.”
“Thank you Herbee” said the King Fairy, “but isn’t this problem too big for you? And how do you expect to ever meet humans and communicate with them?” Herbee replied “You are both fairies aren’t you? You can do magic, you can do anything!” Queen Fairy and King Fairy were both silent. “Please, please my Queen and my King give me the chance to help, I love this forest too and I am willing to do anything to save it” said Herbee. The Queen Fairy finally smiled and said “Well then, you are a brave little plant, your wish is granted.” The forest canopy started to open and bright beams of light filled in the forest floor. For a moment, Herbee became disoriented as she spinned and floated out of the ground. There was the sound of a million rustling leaves and the scent of forest flowers filled the air. She could hear the heavenly voices of what seemed like hundred of fairies singing. It was a magical moment! Then as quickly as it started, the bright light disappeared and the fairies were suddenly gone.
Herbee felt something very different about herself. She did not seem to be anchored anymore to the ground with her roots and instead she could feel herself gliding over. As she looked down, Herbee exclaimed “Oh my, oh my, I am on a pot with wheels.” The pot moved forward as Herbee’s leaned to the front. “It even has little wings!” said Herbee. Then the wings flapped and the pot levitated following Herbee’s unsure gesture for it to rise. “Weeee, see me move and fly in my magical flying car pot Mr. Bee! Now I can follow you anywhere” she exclaimed. “Today we conquer the forest, tomorrow we conquer the world!” said Herbee. “Thank you Queen and King Fairy, thank you little Princess”.
Herbee and her bee friend were ecstatic and excited, and they drove through every corner of the forest floor and hovered over its vast canopy.” Herbee was finally ready on her mission to help save the forest. Little did she know, she too was on a mission to help save humanity.
PHILIP & PHIL AIDAN CRUZ 5/09