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In GreenVille, there was a group of people from Shena who kept to themselves. They were very friendly, polite and known for being good farmers. The group’s representative was Fung Shoo-way, a nice man who loved working in his rice fields.
The Shenese had very popular restaurants in GreenVille that served good fresh food. Fung Shoo-way also had a restaurant and loved greeting his customers. This day, Hannah Heart and GoGreen Man had just walked in. “Ni hao, welcome to my lestaurant (restaurant). Please enjoy your food,” he told them as they were escorted to their seats.
GoGreen Man responded, “Fung Shoo-way, you sound very happy. Did you have some good news today?”
“Ya, GoGreen Man! My lice (rice) fields are turning gleen (green), it will be a good clop (crop) this year. There was plenty of lain (rain),” responded Fung Shoo-way enthusiastically.
“That’s great! I’m glad to hear there will be plenty of rice because I love eating your fried rice,” laughed GoGreen Man.
“You, too?” Fung Shoo-way asked Hannah Heart. “Do you want flied lice (fried rice), too?”
“Yes, please,” responded Hannah Heart.
“One second,” said Fung Shoo-way. He dashed to the back of the restaurant and came right back out. “Here you go,” he told them as he served their rice.
“Wow! You’re really fast!” said GoGreen Man.
“That’s experience,” Fung Shoo-way answered. “Oh, I need to check on my lice (rice) fields. Thank you for coming.” He told them as he scurried out the door.
Fung Shoo-way was excited to go check on his rice. Everything had looked good the day before, but he just wanted to look again. When he arrived at his fields, there was a problem, things weren’t looking so good anymore - he saw some rice bugs crawling on his rice.
“Oh, no,” Fun Shoo-way exclaimed. “Unless I do something quickly my rice harvest will be ruined!” Rice bugs like to eat the rice grain, ruining it. Depending on when the rice bugs eat on the rice grains, they can have odd shapes, look like they have spots on them or be smaller than normal. Basically, the rice bugs ruin rice crops.
This created a big problem for Fung Shoo-way. You see, he didn’t own his land. Ever since the Shenese landed in GreenVille many years before, they had been allowed to grow rice on the land in return for half of the harvest. His landlord was Waste Woman. This land had been in her family since the beginning of GreenVille’s history.
Fung Shoo-way was a little worried, because Waste Woman always came around to check on her land. She hadn’t been around in a while, so he knew she could show up at any time. He also knew he had to have a plan to get rid of the rice bugs. Fung Shoo-way definitely didn’t know what he’d say if she showed up now.
If he couldn’t do anything to get rid of the bugs, the harvest would be much smaller than usual and Waste Woman could take the land away from him. Waste Woman didn’t really care about the rice like her ancestors did. She wanted the land for a luxurious housing development with a private 18-hole golf course.
Fung Shoo-way tried to pick up some of the rice bugs by hand, but it was a bad day for him. This was the day Waste Woman decided to come and check on her properties. When Waste Woman saw Fung Shoo-way working in the field, she thought it was a good time to remind him that this year’s harvest had to be even better than last year’s or he would have to leave.
“You! Fung Shoo-way!” called out Waste Woman in a demanding tone. “My profit on this rice is going down. I work hard to make money, but with this rice field, I’m losing money. I don’t like to lose money. May I remind you, you have to have a good harvest this year. In fact, as I told you before it must be better than last year’s or you’ll have to leave. By the way, what are you doing?”
Fung Shoo-way dropped his head, “Ms. Waste Woman, to be honest…I have a little problem with this year’s harvest. It might not be so great. I just found some rice bugs.”
“What?!” she exclaimed in disgust as she took a step back away from the field.
“Well,” Fung Shoo-way continued. “I don’t use pesticides, so the rice crop will probably be ruined. I don’t know what to do.”
Snorting in disgust, Waste Woman told him, “I don’t care what you do or if you use pesticides. What I do know is that if your rice crop is smaller than it was last year, then the land will be taken away from you. I just cannot afford to lose any more money. It’s your choice, I don’t care.”
Fung Shoo-way begged her in desperation, “This land is my life. My parents and my parents’ parents all worked this land. Please give me another chance!” Waste Woman turned a cold shoulder to his pleas and left him alone in the rice field.
Fung Shoo-way worried all the rest of that day and into the night. The only thing he could think of was to use pesticides. He didn’t want to though because he knew it was bad for the environment and for people’s heath. On the other hand, he didn’t want to lose the land. He knew Waste Woman kept her promises. If she said he’d have to leave, he would have to leave.
GoGreen Man and Hannah Heart went to Fung Shoo-way’s restaurant again the next day. Hannah Heart noticed Fung Shoo-way seemed distracted. “What’s the matter, Fung Shoo-way? You don’t look very good today,” she asked him. “Is there something we can help you with?”
Since Fung Shoo-way felt there was no hope, he told GoGreen Man and Hannah Heart what was happening to him. “I found lice (rice) bugs in my field yesterday and Waste Woman happened to come by at the same time…”
After they heard his story and what the problem was, they were really sad. “Thank you for sharing your problem with us. We just want you to know how much we appreciate you not using pesticides. We love your rice, especially the fried rice and will try to help you figure something out.”
As soon as they left the restaurant, Hannah Heart and GoGreen Man paid a visit to Professor Fusionstein. After hearing Fung Shoo-way’s problem, Professor Fusionstein agreed that Fung Shoo-way needed help. He was proud of Fung Shoo-way’s stand against pesticides and wanted to reward it. There weren’t many people in GreenVille who grew rice that took that stand. Others, like Petrol Pirate didn’t care about using pesticides, he just wanted big profits.
Professor Fusionstein suggested, “Since he just found the rice bugs, it shouldn’t be too much trouble to take care of the problem. Natural predators for rice bugs in GreenVille are grasshoppers. Also, we can try to catch the rice bugs with a net when they come out in the early morning. It’s easier to do this when there aren’t many bugs. It sounds like Fung Shoo-way discovered them at the right time.”
“That’s great!” said GoGreen Man. “We need to call all our friends to come help us get these bugs.” Hannah Heart agreed and went to make the calls.
When GoGreen Man arrived at the fields early the next morning, he was thrilled to see all his friends and many other citizens of GreenVille already there. “Are you ready? Let’s go get some rice bugs!” He exclaimed as he handed out nets. “That you for coming to help Fung Shoo-way,” he said to each person who’d come.
Everyone brushed his aside thanks, saying that they were glad to help Fung Shoo-way. They appreciated his willingness to give them clean, food (without pesticides) that tasted great.
A little later, Fung Shoo-way was walking to his field, very dejected. He had a worried look on his face as he looked up and saw people in his field. At first he thought Waste Woman had already come to take away the land, but then he realized it was GoGreen Man, Hannah Heart and many others.
“What you doing here?” he asked GoGreen Man.
GoGreen Man told him not to worry, that everyone had come to help him. He explained what they were doing.
Fung Shoo-way had tears of joy and hope in his eyes. “Tank (thank) you all! I don’t tink (think) I could ever repay you!”
Everyone laughed and said that they were already paid in full. This was to thank him for not using pesticides on his rice. They loved buying his pesticide free rice and most of all going to his restaurant and eating his delicious fried rice.
Suddenly they heard a voice calling from across the field. “Wait! Wait for me!” It was Roger Recycle, he had brought a huge container filled with grasshoppers.
“Where did you get all those grasshoppers?” everyone exclaimed. Looking a little sheepish, he said the school kids had found them before they went to school that morning. They wanted to help Fung Shoo-way, too.
Overcome, Fung Shoo-way was unable to say anything as everyone clapped and cheered. But Roger wasn’t finished yet; he handed the grasshoppers to Fung Shoo-way and asked him to release them into the field. He told Fung Shoo-way that these grasshoppers would take care of the rest of the rice bugs – it was the grasshoppers’ favorite meal!
Fung Shoo-way continued crying and saying “Tank you, tank you” over and over as he released the grasshoppers into his field. Hundreds of grasshoppers were hopping through his rice stalks munching away on the destructive rice bugs.
It was a happy day for Fung Shoo-way and for all those who helped him save his rice crop. Watching the happy scene, GoGreen Man said to himself, “I hope I can always be the protector of GreenVille.”
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