Pippy, the apple pip

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One summer day, the wind started to blow in an orchard. It got stronger and stronger. The trees, full of fruit, started to bend. Then clouds came, covering the sun. A thunderstorm emerged. After a big thunderclap, one apple tree was badly damaged: Pippy, a pip, fell down through the hole in the bottom of an apple. Pippy, hit herself in the back and she did not know what was going on. She was confused and frightened because everything around her was totally strange. She had never been wet from the rain, she had never rolled around with the wind, and she had never been all alone. The grass around her was like trees for us. Due to the grass, she saw nothing around her, so she started to cry. Pippy was lost in the orchard.

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1. Frightened Pippy in a thunderstorm

After the thunderstorm, the wind blew away the clouds and the sun appeared again. Pippy felt better as the sun was drying her up. For a moment she forgot that she was alone. Very happy, she bent down to the ground but then she felt cold in her back. She turned and saw a big glassy marble. She observed it for a while and then gently touched it. She started to shiver because the marble was icy. It was in fact a piece of hail. Pippy stepped back and saw another one and another one and then many others. They were glittering in the sun like pearls. She never saw anything like that and so she shouted: „Sisters, sisters, come to see how beautiful pearls I found in our orchard.“

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2. Icy marbles

But it was all quiet. Nobody replied to Pippy. You could only hear some birds singing. Full of fear she was moving ahead. It became warmer and warmer. The pieces of hail became smaller and smaller as the sun smelted them. She was slowly walking in the water, very afraid because she did not know how to swim. But fortunately the earth was dry and soon the water disappeared into it. She turned around and was wondering where all these pearls went.

Her feet were dirty with mud. She wanted to return home to her sisters. She started to shout again: „Sisters, sisters, where are you? Please answer me, where is our apple?“ But again nobody answered her. She was sitting down with eyes full of tears, she was so sad. „I will never get back home“, she thought „I will stay down here for the rest of my life.¨ She was crying and crying but then somebody asked her: „Who is crying there in the grass?“

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3. Conversation with a pear pip

Pippy stood up fast and turned around, looking at all directions and said: „It is me, Pippy. During the thunderstorm our tree was hit by lightening. I fell down through the bottom hole of my apple. The wind carried me a long way from our tree. I don't know how to get back. May I come to you? I'm so afraid to be alone down here.“

„No way“ said the voice from a tree, „I'm a pip from a pear, which is full of pips, so there is no room for you.“ And she went on: „Anyway, you don't belong here. Apple pips live in apples, which grow in apple trees.“ „But what can I do to get home? You are so high. Would you please look around to see if there is an apple tree around here?“

The pearl pip replied: “I see many apple trees here but how can I know which one is yours? „I don't know either.“

„Oh my, you poor apple pip. I don't know how to help you.“

„What if you would ask a bird to fly around and check which apple has an open bottom hole?“

„Are you crazy? The birds are our worst enemies. If they notice you, they eat you immediately.“

That frightened Pippy badly. She quickly sat down on the ground and started to cry again. Now she realized she will probably never get home and see her sisters.

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4. Conversation with an ant

All of a sudden she heard a voice behind her. „Why are you crying? Did somebody hit you?“ „No, nobody hit me. I fell out of an apple and now I don't know how to get back. I am Pippy, an apple pip. Who are you? Did you fall out from some apple, too?“ „No no, I am an ant, I live on the ground. The hail smashed our ant-hill and it was flooded. The corridors are now full of water.“ „Could you please help me to find my apple tree? I would like to get home before dark.“ „I would really like to help you but it is impossible because I am so small. It is true that I can walk up the trees but there are too many of them. I propose you stay in our ant-hill tonight and then you can continue tomorrow morning.“ „No thank you, that is impossible. The apple cannot ripen without pips. Soon this apple may rot and fall to the ground. I cannot do that to my sisters. I must get back. I will walk around alone and call my sisters.“ „I see. But in that case you must be aware of your enemies.“ „Of course I will. If a bird will fly above me, will sneak down in the grass right away.“ „It is not only the birds that are your enemies. If a field mouse sees you, it will crunch you just like that.“ „What? Even the mice are our enemies? Do they live in our orchard?“ „Of course, they are all over the place and they find pips delicious.“„Oh no. Is there anybody here that I need not be afraid of?“ „Of course.“ „Who are they? Please tell me.“ „Well, you do not have worry about us ants and neither the bees, butterflies, ladybirds, nor worms or anybody that is smaller than you.“„So again, what should I be afraid of?“ „Hard beaks and sharp teeth.“ „By the way, if I call a ladybird, do you think it would help me?“ „Why not try“, said the ant and returned to the ant-hill.

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5. Conversation with ladybirds

Pippy started to shout up in the air: „Ladybird, ladybird, is there any ladybird up there?“. There were two of them near-by and they both dropped down a bit and saw Pippy. „Did you call us?“ they asked. „Yes yes, I was calling you. Could you please help me to find my apple? I would like to get home before dark.“ „We don't know if we are able to find your apple. We ladybirds are not very fast flyers, so it's impossible to check all those apples before dark.“ Then Pippy said: 'What about bees? Please ask them. There are many of them and they are faster than you.“ „We could ask them but we don't know where they are now. The apple and peach trees are not blossoming any longer and therefore the bees are not in the orchard at this time“.

„Oh, I see. But could you please check if there is any meadow near-by – and explain my problem to the bees if you find some there?

Maybe they would be kind enough to do a favour to me.“ „OK, we will fly to check the nearest meadow but we cannot promise you anything.“ „Thank you. But if you do find some bees how can they locate me in this tall grass?„ „Hm. That is a problem. The best solution is that you stay right here under this pear tree.“

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6. Pippy hiding from mouse

Pippy waits under the tree, squatting down on the ground. All of a sudden the pear pip notices a mouse and shouts a warning: „Don't move!“ Pippy freezes, she doesn't move at all – and the mouse passes by without noticing her.Then she keeps waiting and waiting. Finally she hears bees buzzing in the air. A big army of bees arrive led by the two ladybirds. The bees start to check all apple trees in the orchard. If they are fast enough, Pippy will get home before dark. In the whole orchard you hear zzzz. The bees are checking all apples, looking for an open hole.

The sun has gone down and it's slowly getting dark. Far away from Pippy, a bee finds an apple with an open hole.The bee looks inside the apple and sees that all pips are sleeping in their beds but one bed is empty.

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7. A bee finds the right apple

The bee realizes it has found the right apple and trumpets the news immediately to everybody. All the bees flow back to Pippy and tell her that they did find the right apple. Pippy jumps up and down of happiness, shouting: „Now I will get home, now I will get home!“ But she must walk from the pear tree to her apple tree all alone. To avoid that a bird would see Pippy, the bees decide to fly right above her all the way. After finding the right tree, the bees say goodbye to Pippy. They have to reach their beehive before dark, too.

So Pippy is finally at her apple tree. She is staring up the tree, trying to find the right branch. It is not easy because it is almost dark. She is scared to be alone again, but then she calms down when she notices a spider that lives in the tree all the time. Having observed how Pippy was led home by the bees the spider says to Pippy: „If you want, I can make a web so that you can climb up to your apple. But do you have the power to do that?“ „Of course!“ Pippy replies, „I would do anything so that I don't have to stay on the ground any longer. But can you manage to make your web in such a short time? „Don't worry, my whole family will help me.“ Six spiders span a web very fast all the way down to the ground.

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8. Pippy climbing up a spider web

Pippy climbs up the web. Finally she reaches the right branch. She is exhausted and frightened. When trying the reach her apple, she slipps and falls down to the web. The biggest spider sees that she will never make it by herself and says: 'You are tired. Come to my back, hug me, and I will carry you to your apple.“ Pippy manages to climb to the back of the spider, who carries her up very carefully.

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9. Pippy on the back of a spider

It is dark when they finally reach her apple. She gets in through the apple hole, thanks the spider and carefully closes the hole after her. She lies down to her bed and does not move at all until autumn. She is sleeping safely inside the apple with her sisters who had not noticed at all that she had been away. She actually saved her sisters because an apple never ripens without all its pips.

When the autumn comes all the apples in this tree are red. Only then she realizes they are called Jonathans.

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10. A ripe Jonathan apple