The Heart of Jingo-Bingo
Written by Iam Hanuman on Tuesday the 11th of January 2011
Many years ago in a land far across the purple seas, lived a small round guy by the name of Jingo-Bingo. He loved his home at the edge of the mangrove forest, near the and every day he would climb up his favourite tree and look out across the vast landscape, thinking to himself how lucky he was...
But... Jingo-Bingo was lonely. He had no friends to talk to. He had no other small round guys to play with. His heart was achey. He wished for more little creatures in this beautiful country, but alas there were none.
And thus Jingo-Bingo spent his days. Loving his beautiful home, but with his big round heart wishing for company.
Well it just so happened that one particularly sunny day there came a pitter patter of feet on the sandy ground. There came a crick crack of twigs in the forest. There came a swish swash of a tail from below Jingo-Bingo's tree.
The small round guy jumped down in amazement. Could this finally be a friend come to his wondrous home? Sure enough, there in front of Jingo-Bingo stood a long green girl by the name of Swishy-Down.
"Hello to you!” said Swishy-Down, with a smile.
"Hello to you too!” said Jingo-Bingo, and he put out his hand in friendship.
For the next few days these new pals played like Jingo-Bingo had never believed before. It was just as if his dreams had been answered at last. A friend to warm his heart.
Swishy-Down said that she had travelled across the purple seas to come to this land and she wanted to make it her home. When she had met no others on her journey she had become sad, until from a distance she had seen a small round guy in a tree at the edge of the mangrove forest, near the .
And so it went on.
But one day Jingo-Bingo found his new chum sitting 'neath a Galloobee tree, her head down. She looked upset. The small round guy was sorry to see her this way.
"What is wrong, Swishy-Down? Why is it that you frown?” he asked.
"I am lonely for travel,” she said. "I have always travelled, and being in one place for so long has made me low. I long to journey again.”
Now Jingo-Bingo understood 'lonely'. He understood wishing for something. He was a nice chap, so he sat down next to Swishy-Down and they began to discuss plans for a trip. They would just go on what amounted to a holiday - a vacation away for a number of days - and then they would return. It would soothe Swishy-Down's aching heart, and Jingo-Bingo could empathise with that. When they returned they would feel refreshed and ready to play again. What good friends they were, thought Jingo-Bingo.
So off the two friends set, a bag of Trinkle Fruit each and some Lammas Bread wrapped up in leaf. They headed towards the sun and said farewell to the and the , just for a while.
Now a few days into the voyage, Swishy-Down began to have quite an unusual speed about her. Jingo-Bingo was having trouble keeping up. Although she had never been able to climb trees, being a long green girl and all, Swishy-Down was quick. Jingo-Bingo tried to keep pace but he couldn't.
"Slow down Swishy!” he said, after a while. "I'm just a small round guy. I'm not as fast as you.”
But Swishy-Down wouldn't slow down. She said that she was enjoying the journey too much. Jingo-Bingo sighed and re-doubled his efforts to catch up.
Then Swishy-Down started to cut the night-time rests short, plumping for an early rise each morning "to get a nice head start” she had said. But Jingo-Bingo liked his sleep, and having practically been running the journey now, it was extra-special for him. What was he going to do? He thought to himself, 'tomorrow morning I am going to ask Swishy if we can head on back.'
So next morning, as the two friends were digging for roots in the dusty earth, while the sun shone down on them, Jingo-Bingo turned to Swishy-Down and said "Swishy - if we have to travel so hard, I think I'd like to go home.”
Swishy-Down looked worried. "But we can't!” she said.
"I wanted to come on this little travel to make your heart happy,” he smiled. "But if we must push on so, I'm not enjoying myself.”
All of a sudden Swishy-Down's long green face changed. "We can't go back. We can never go back. We are travelling on to my home!” she shouted. Jingo-Bingo was astonished. What in the worlds was this? Swishy-Down paced around him, her long green body circling. "I didn't really want to have a holiday with you, you silly creature! You are a dim animal, and good for only one thing.”
Jingo-Bingo stared at her. His small round mouth hung open. His heart, which had lately felt so full, now throbbed in his chest. Had these last weeks been a lie?
"I only came to you,” sneered Swishy-Down as she continued to circle, "because the King in my land is sick. Legend has it that the heart of a small round guy from the land across the purple seas is the only cure for his ills.
"I am an outcast in my land. No-one likes me, because they say I am a sneak, and a liar.”
"You are!” said Jingo-Bingo, finally finding his voice.
"Hush!” said Swishy-Down. "I decided that if I could find the heart of a small round guy and bring it back to my King, then I would be rich beyond my wildest dreams, and I'd never have to worry about being liked ever again. I would have gold and jewels around me, and I wouldn't need friends.” She laughed nastily, "And anyway, who would want friends if they are like silly old you?”
Now Jingo-Bingo was many things. He was small - it was true. He was round - that was also true. He was a guy - most exceedingly true. But, he wasn't silly. No, he wasn't silly, at all. He thought quickly while he waited for Swishy-Down to stop her ranting.
"... I will be oh so rich and all I need do is deliver you up - you and you silly little round heart!” chuckled the long green girl, as she swished her long green tail at Jingo-Bingo, showering him with dust.
"Ah!” said the small round guy suddenly, and at first Swishy-Down thought that he was just shocked at being covered by dirt. Then she saw his frowning face and realised he was shaking his head.
"Oh dear,” Jingo-Bingo continued. "My heart! Oh my... what a pity! What a gosh-darned shame...”
"What?” snapped Swishy-Down, ceasing in her tracks. "What are you muttering about?”
"Well, you need my heart,” said Jingo-Bingo. "For your King, you said. To make him well?”
"Yes, yes!” said Swishy. "What is this silly twittering and chattering? I need your heart.”
Jingo-Bingo's frown became even fuller and he dropped down on his small round bottom. "Such a sorry shame. And I would so love to have helped...”
"What is this? Get to the point you stupid thing!” Swishy shouted.
Jingo-Bingo had never had a temper in his life, but if ever there was a time to start it would have been now. Instead he just took a deep breathe and carried on. Swishy-Down didn't notice the twinkle in his eyes. "Well you see, I don't have my heart with me,” he said.
"What?” said Swishy-Down, a stunned look in her long green eyes.
"If I'd have known, I would have brought it with me. As it stands, I've left it sitting in my mangrove tree. Third branch from the top.” Jingo-Bingo smiled. "Safest place for it, you see...”
"WHAT?” shouted Swishy-Down, beginning to go into a rage. "BUT?! BUT?! YOU MEAN....”
"I mean I really want to help,” said Jingo-Bingo. "Perhaps we could go back and pick it up. We've lost a few days, sure... but hey, you're quick.” He patted Swishy-Down on her long green back. "If I sit up here, and you run as fast as you can, we'll be back in no time!”
And so, Swishy-Down and Jingo-Bingo, having abruptly halted their trip, along with their friendship reversed their tracks and headed back. Back towards the and the mangrove forest. Back to the land where a certain small round guy's heart lay.
They reached Jingo-Bingo's tree in far less time than they had taken when they had travelled out, but Swishy-Down was exhausted. Her back ached and long green spine tingled from the weight of a small round bottom.
"Ah! Here we are!” announced Jingo-Bingo, and jumped off. Without a by your leave, he zoomed up the tree. Adept climber that he was, he reached his favourite branch in no time at all and peered down at the long green girl who he had once thought his friend.
"Well stop staring at me!” she called up, rubbing her sore body. "Bring your heart down now so we can set back to my land. I've lost days already, you daft smudge.”
And he laughed.
Oh how he laughed.
"I think, dear Swishy that it is you who are daft.” he called from his high-up perch.
"WHAT?” she shouted from far below. "What are you talking about? You're the one who left your heart behind and made us have to come all the way back for it.” She sneered. "What kind of creature leaves their heart in a tree anyway?”
"None!” shouted Jingo-Bingo. "Or at least none that I know of.” He dropped a mangrove down to the long green girl. "Here have this. Perhaps this will make you rich!”
Swishy-Down watched as the fruit landed by her long green feet in a cloud of sand.
"I do however know of a rather silly and nasty creature who believes animals CAN leave their hearts in trees,” said Jingo-Bingo. "She played a horrid trick on someone, and took advantage of their good nature. Well now, that creature is going to have to go home empty handed with their long green tail between their legs.”
"HAH! Come down this instant!” shouted Swishy-Down, not giving up. "
I will not,” said the small round guy. "And you cannot climb up. So you can either wait there until the sun comes and goes a thousand times, or you can go back to your land and leave me to the peace I had before you came.”
Well Swishy-Down was just about to start shouting once more, so enraged she was that she had been tricked, when they both heard a sound. It was quiet at first but it became gradually louder. Jingo-Bingo was the first one to notice it...
Pitter Patter - feet on the sandy ground
Crick Crack - twigs in the forest
And all of a sudden, a troupe of animals came out of the trees into the clearing at the edge of the mangrove forest. So many there were, all shapes and sizes. Some long and green, some wide and yellow, some tall and pink, some small and round. Swishy-Down nearly got trampled in her astonishment, as for some reason she darted into the arriving crowd rather than away from it.
"Oh dear!” called out one of the new animals, who happened to me medium-sized and squarish. "We nearly squished you! Are you ok?”
Swishy-Down said nothing, but ran off, her back to the , her head towards the purple seas. A cloud of dust was all that was left in her wake.
Oh! And a lonely mangrove, lying on the floor.
Jingo-Bingo ended up having many new friends. Real ones. It transpired that the heaving throng which had arrived that day had been travelling for weeks to find this wondrous place they had heard of. A land full of mangrove forests, flowing rivers, warm sun and mountains that chimed. They had never expected to find a new friend there - a small round one. What a happy surprise for them!
And finally, Jingo-Bingo's heart sang, as he'd hoped it one day would. In actual fact, it chimed. Right along with those mountains he loved so much.