by Sofia P. Webber
Valeria is 13 years old and is very talented with numbers, statistics — and she has a very special skill. She can communicate with animals.
Her dream is to go to the Amazon, the only place in the world where you can still see rainbows and cocoa plants. Valeria has a hard time interacting with humans, because of the way they communicate; therefore she does not have human friends. The only being she considers her friend is Ardillananda, a very funny squirrel who lives in a Cypress tree in her backyard.
Valeria’s parents are always very busy and have little time for her. Her mother is a famous journalist who began doing research about The Pink Dolphin’s Legend. Despite their many occupations Valeria’s family traveled to the jungle, due to her mother’s new job assignment. Ardillananda also went with them, hidden in Valeria’s backpack.
When they reached the jungle, they separated. Ardillananda set out to look for a new tree to live in. In her adventure she learned the territorial rules of the jungle, and connected with the nocturnal monkeys, whom she helped to escape from a sinister laboratory of experimentation.
The family stayed in an indigenous village for several days. There they met the Shaman, his grandson Lucho, Capibara, the Great Boto, and the mother Golden Eagle and her chick. Lucho, an albino boy believed to be the son of dolphins, had found a magical artifact that does not follow the rules of gravity and shines in the dark.
This artifact is a part of a Shiwido, and it gave them clues to find the blue fairies whom were charged for centuries with maintaining the order, colors and balance of the jungle. The Shiwidos are ancestral instruments that the fairies used to heal animals and plants, create colors, and achieve the balance of all the kingdoms of the jungle.
Ardillananda did not believe in the existence of fairies, but the nocturnal monkeys told her that they are the nurses, gardeners, and artists of the rainforest. They testified about how cheerful, kind and talented the fairies are. The squirrel also learned about the Minchas, who live in an underground world that no human eye has ever seen.
During the rainy season, the fairies used to go down to visit the Minchas and help them with their illnesses and sadness. The Minchas grow old quickly. Yet they had a very good appetite and loved the food the fairies brought them, especially chocolate.
One day, the leader of the Minchas decided to create an army, in complicity with an army of ants. Together, they invaded the world on the surface, went to the fairies’ lands and forced them to abandon their homes, which are purple flowers on top of the trees that serve as telescopes to observe every detail of the jungle.
The Minchas, who were hungry for power and very tired of growing old, thought they could be young forever by taking the place of the fairies. Envious of their beauty and their skills with the Shiwido, they stole the Shiwidos and hid them, to make sure the fairies would be gone forever. Without their instruments, the fairies could not fly anymore, much less do their work as healing gardeners.
The Minchas offered the dominion of the jungle to the Cement Men, in exchange for the secret of eternal youth. They had to return to their subterranean world because the sun damaged their skin so much, and they realized that the surface world was so polluted by the slashing and burning of trees and other plants, and spills of chemicals and industrial waste.
The men of Cement cut down many trees and polluted several rivers to build buildings, roads and bridges. Everything went into chaos and that’s why chocolate, and other fruits, became scarce. The colors became opaque. It was a very difficult time for all dwellers of the Amazon rainforest.
The mission of Valeria — with the help of Ardillananda, Lucho, Capibara, the Golden Eagle, the chick, and the Great Boto — was to find the other three parts of the Shiwido and assemble it. With the sound it produces, the Shiwido can open a door to free the fairies, and return the balance and colors to the jungle.
Valeria and her friends competed with the Minchas in a game of knowledge and beat them. Then the Minchas, along with the men of Cement had to collect all the garbage they left in the jungle, and they also dedicated time to clean the rivers and the sea of all pollution.
Valeria returned to California with the Shiwido, which becomes the flag of respect for ecosystems, water, and the entire planet! Valeria becomes the spokesperson for animals and fairies before the governments of the world. She has many friends, both humans and animals. Her parents realize that time is valuable when it is shared, and that family is most important, as well as respect and compassion for all.
Sofia Puerta Webber was born in Bogotá, Colombia. She worked as a social researcher in Colombia’s “red zones” — areas with significant guerrilla or paramilitary presence — and served as consultant for children in a United Nations Peace Program. Sofia moved to San Diego in 2012. She holds the title of yoga master from International Sivananda Yoga, and is a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction instructor at UC San Diego. Shiwido was trademarked in 2007. Sofia can be reached at email@example.com.