The Whispering Palms By Deepa Gangwani and Tina Suchanek Mori was a little girl with big brown eyes. She lived with her parents in a beautiful coconut grove, next to a small blue lake. Every morning, she balanced a big empty basket on her head as she walked down
to the lake. Her mother followed with the laundry and her father brought the big fishing net. Her mother washed the clothes on a stone next to the lake, while her father went fishing. He dragged the net ashore, and they collected the fish in a big basket. Sometimes a turtle got stuck in the net, but Mori always hurried to the rescue. One sunny morning while fishing with her father, Mori said: “If we catch so many fish, one day there won’t
be any left!” Her mother laughed and sent her off to school. Under the shade of the trees, Mori’s mother fell into an uneasy sleep. She dreamt of a lake with no fish, while the wind in the palm leaves whispered: “The waters and the land have always taken care of your family, so you have to take care
of them in return.” She awoke with tears in her eyes, for she didn’t know how to bring up Mori without selling enough fish. All afternoon she sat, weaving coconut mats and thinking about her dream. That night Mori heard her parents
whisper as the oil lamp burned deep into the night. The next morning, her father gave her a smaller basket. “How can we carry all
the fish in this little basket?” Mori asked. “We will only take as many fish as will fit inside
this basket,” he replied. Mori was puzzled. When she came back
from school, she was happy to find her mother making soap and oil from the coconuts. Mori swiftly climbed up a tree to get more coconuts, but her mother cautioned: “Don’t pluck them; we must only use what the tree gives us.” Her father added: “We have taken only fallen coconuts for these things. Look, we’ve even made this soap with a jasmine flower inside!” From that day on, the family made brooms from the palm leaves and wove mats from coconut fiber. They took soap, oil and only a small number
of fish to the market. When Mori grew older, she loved to carve tiny turtles out of coconut shells and always wore one around her neck.