Thank you so much for all of those who kindly donated their interest and time to responding to this post. We are overwhelmed truly by your generosity! We are so happy to have found an artist to illustrate our book and we are sure you will all think that it is adorable, delightful and will have the conservation impact that we hope it will achieve to help save the slow loris.
The Little Fireface Project is looking for someone who might want to offer their services to illustrate a children’s book for loris conservation. The book would be distributed throughout our region to villages where lorises persist in unprotected agroforest, in an attempt to instill pride in the loris, and for people to learn the important role the loris plays in the forest. We could provide an illustrator with photographs and film of the lorises to help them with their drawings. We are seeking support for funding for the book but this will be easier once we have illustrations.
The story is written by Prof Nekaris and highlights key aspects of the lorises’ ecology. It is about our favourite loris mother Tereh (fast) and her new baby Bungah (flower). The text will be in Indonesian and English, so it can also serve as an English learning tool, and can also be distributed in western countries for loris conservation.
SLOW LORIS – FOREST PROTECTOR
By Prof Anna Nekaris
v Night fell on the beautiful forest gardens of Cipaganti
v Two of its most important residents woke up with a great YAWN and STRETCH!
v “Baby Bungah,” said Mama Tereh, “You are three months old and tonight I can teach you about all the foods a grown-up slow loris needs to eat.”
v CLIMB CLIMB, slither slither they went…slow lorises cannot jump!
v First they saw a TALL jengjeng tree with a WIDE trunk.
v Tereh climbed head-down…SCRAPE SCRAPE…she made a huge hole and licked the pouring sap!
v Bungah was worried, but Tereh said, “You have strong feet and legs, and chisel-leg teeth…just try!”
v Bungah made his first tiny hole…yummy! (but he left the tree unharmed…)
v Next, ALLLL the way across a tomato field, Tereh spotted calliandra flowers.
v “How do we get there?” cried Bungah.
v “Follow me!!” said Tereh, as both mother and son sped across a water hose pipe to reach a sweet-smelling calliandra tree.
v Tereh explained, “Farmers plant the calliandra to feed leaves to their goats and cows. It’s our job to pollinate the flowers.”
v Tereh plunged her face into the gorgeous spiky flower – LICK LICK LICK.
v “Mummy – you look so funny – your face is ALL white!” cried Bungah.
v Tereh explained, “If we now feed on the flowers over there across the tea, we bring this pollen with us. This helps the forest survive!”
v It looked a long way! Bungah was frightened, but he knew his job was important.
v “Don’t worry. Didn’t you know you have a super power? We lorises can protect ourselves from predators!”
v Tereh showed Bungah, just before crossing the wide patch of tea, how to anoint himself with venom.
v They looked so funny – like two prize boxers!
v Then they crossed…and passed a prowling jungle cat…but the venom worked like a shield – STINKY! The cat turned away.
v A swooping owl saw them from above, but mistook them for two stinky cobras. The stripes down their backs went slither slither…SCARY!
v They made it! Bungah loved licking the flowers and helping farmers.
v Past the flowers were rows of carrots and cabbages mixed with more jengjeng and calliandra trees, a forest feast again the starry black sky, but….
v Tereh said, “You have not learned your most important job!”
v At that moment, a locust flew past Bungah’s nose…a natural, he snatched it in flight and gobbled it up. “Mummy, that was the best food yet!”
v Tereh and Bungah raced through the beautiful agroforest –through kayputi, Afrika, alpukat, jackgruit and jengjeng trees, catching one insect after the next.
v Tired from their race, they found themselves at the edge of the forest, and could see into a villager’s house.
v Inside were a human mother and her son. “Bengbeng, remember to always eat your carrots.” Mama was saying.
v Tereh smiled her loris smile. “That is why our job in the gardens is so important – we eat the pests so the carrots and other vegetables can grow, and Bengbeng can grow up big and strong…just like you Bungah!”
v “Can we go eat some more then, Mama?”
v And Tereh and Bungah raced off to protect Cipaganti’s gardens.