In May 2021, as I was thinking “what shall I do for the 12th birthday of my daughter Elif Sumru, what shall I give to her as present?”, an idea came to my mind: I could write a short story whose heroin is a young girl like Elif Sumru. So I sat down and wrote this fairy-tale-like story in three days (originally in Turkish, titled “Elmalı Köyün Vahşi Davulcusu”). I wrote it in only three days but all the details of this short story has been on my mind for quite a long time.
Turkish original: Bir Anadolu masalı: Elmalı Köyün Vahşi Davulcusu
Latest events in the normally quiet Apple Village have confused 12-year-old Elint, who was called “Curly Nettle” in the village because of her curly hair and sharp tongue:
What was the Wild Drummer, a forest boy, trying to tell the people of the village with these words?
You’re all obsessed with apple and only apple,
You don’t see the other blessings of the forest.
Most of the village people, including Curly’s father and the village teacher named Meticulous, were against the Wild Drummer. They thought, this wild jungle boy should not to be allowed into the village. Who was right and who was wrong? Should she follow the majority, or should she try the understand and defend the Wild Drummer?
Did the Teacher really teach everything that needed to be learned, as his father said, or was there much to learn from Doctor Oma and Taleteller Opa, from others, and from the forest?
What should be done with the giant of a boy Stone-Head, who couldn’t bring two sensible words together and broke his school desk with a punch of his fist when he got angry? Was the Teacher right in wanting to expel him from school for good, or did the Stone-Head, who couldn’t express his feelings verbally, had a golden conscience that had to be understood?
Curly was terribly confused. Would she be able to make sound judgments and find the right path?
In this story, Wild Drummer tries to protect the forest, which he views as his homeland, from the ever-expanding apple plantations. He also rebels against the “monoculture of the mind” (a phrase by Vandana Shiva who has always been one of my prime inspirations).
This is a story for families and children who are not content with just school knowledge, and attach importance to ecological and philosophical consciousness. Read this story and have your children read (or hear) it too. You will see that this short story will be the subject of much discussion.
The book will be available for sale, first in three languages (Turkish, English, German) as soon as my daughter Elif Sumru has completed its pictures –a picture for each chapter– probably until February 2023.Continue reading