This story was written by Jeevan Kingsnorth and was published in the RTE Guide
There was a little tree in the middle of a deep, dark wood. He was very hungry, and needed some nutrients.
On the other side of the forest there was a puffball fungus. His name was Bob, and he was ten. Bob’s parents told him about the hungry tree, and he was very sad. He wanted to help, but he wasn’t allowed.
‘No’, said his dad, ‘your mycelium isn’t ready. We will do it.’
‘Oh,’ said Bob. Bob loved his mycelium. It was an underground network that connected him to the rest of the forest. He used it to send nutrients from tree to tree and go exploring through the wood. He could control it from where he lived.
Bob had to help him. So he sent out his mycelium in secret. But it didn’t take long until …
‘OI!’ shouted his dad. He had bumped his mycelium into his dad’s.
‘Bad Bob!’ said his dad.
Bob decided to send his mycelium to the east instead. It travelled for quite a while until …
‘BOB!’ shouted his mum. He had bumped into his mum’s mycelium and she wasn’t too happy either.
‘No dinner, Bob!’ She said.
‘Aw’, said Bob.
Just then, Bob saw a blackbird.
‘Hello,’ said Bob. ‘Do you know of a poor little tree?’
‘Yes’, said the blackbird. ‘He’s up west in the deep part of the forest under a big oak.’
‘OK’, said Bob, ‘let’s set off.’
The blackbird hopped off through the woods, with Bob’s mycelium following closely. They travelled for a very long time. Finally, they arrived at a small tree.
‘Here we are,’ said the blackbird.
‘But this is the wrong tree,’ said Bob. ‘It tells me it isn’t hungry.’
‘Oh’, said the blackbird. ‘Let’s go and look for the right one, then.’ They travelled again for a long time through the wood, but they still couldn’t find the right tree.
Suddenly, they came into a deep part of the wood, with huge trees towering over them. In the deep part of the wood, the blackbird saw a small, ill-looking tree.
‘There it is!’ he said. They travelled slowly over to it.
‘Do you need help?’ said Bob through his mycelium.
‘Yes’, said the little tree. ‘These big trees are stopping my sugar supply!’
‘OK!’ said Bob. His mycelium wrapped around the tree’s roots, and sent the tree the sugar and nutrients that it needed.
‘Thank you!’ said the little tree, which was feeling much better.
‘Yay!’ said Bob.
The blackbird flew home. Bob was very pleased. But his mum and dad were not! They gave him a big telling-off.
‘But I saved a tree’s life!’ said Bob. His parents realised he was right.
‘OK Bob’, said his mum. ‘You’re right. You disobeyed us, but you did it for the right reasons. Well done.’
‘Yahoo!’ said Bob.