It was World Water Day, and the Gecko had scheduled a special high-level water conference with Algy, on behalf of his associate, Algy’s friend thierry-facon, who works to conserve and manage the world’s water resources. So Algy took the Gecko to the nearest burn and showed him the problem: all the fresh rainwater was running away into the sea. Algy explained that it happened all the time. Most days in the West Highlands it rains, but almost all of the water is wasted. The Gecko listened very attentively while Algy described the process at some length, but like most conferences, the discussion didn’t seem to be going anywhere very fast, whereas the water was…

The Gecko had vanished, and everything seemed normal in the woods again. Algy thought that perhaps his imagination had been playing tricks on him, but then again, he wasn’t quite sure… In any case, he was happy to think that rain was falling on Thierry’s garden now, and the plants would be able to grow lush and green again. As Algy perched on a large branch which had fallen across the burn, he remembered a poem he had once heard:

          I hear leaves drinking rain;
          I hear rich leaves on top
          Giving the poor beneath
          Drop after drop;
          ‘Tis a sweet noise to hear
          These green leaves drinking near.

          And when the Sun comes out,
          After this Rain shall stop,
          A wondrous Light will fill
          Each dark, round drop;
          I hope the Sun shines bright;
          ‘Twill be a lovely sight.

[Algy is quoting the poem The Rain by the early 20th century Welsh poet William Henry Davies.]

The sound of the waterfall was so soporific that Algy quickly fell into a reverie. While he dozed, it seemed to him that the Gecko had climbed onto a long branch overhanging the water, and was doing something extraordinary with its remarkable tongue. As the water tumbled down over the rocks, the Gecko was sucking some of it up into the air, where it was quickly transformed into vapours which rose higher and higher into the sky…

… Far, far away, on the other side of the world, massive clouds were beginning to form and, very soon, torrential rain began to fall on a parched land in desperate need of water. Perhaps Thierry’s garden would be saved…

[Catch up with the latest developments in Thierry’s photo-illustrated story of his tropical paradise at thierry-facon.]

Algy moved nearer to the waterfall. He knew that a shortage of water was the key factor behind the disturbances in his friend Thierry’s tropical garden. The Gecko had explained to Thierry that the trees were sending their roots deep down into the Underworld in a desperate search for water, thus allowing disturbed spirits to travel up into the garden. Although Thierry was an expert in water management, there was little he could do when no water was available. The Gecko had recommended the use of a magical musical instrument to help banish the evil spirits, but Algy felt that this might not be enough. Ultimately the plants must have water…

Algy perched on an old broken branch by the waterfall, pondering this problem. There was such a huge quantity of water in the West Highlands, but how could he send it to the other side of the world? As he watched the water jumping and playing in front of him, Algy noticed something very strange. He was convinced that he could see a brightly-coloured gecko fading in and out of sight on a rock beside the water…

[Catch up with Thierry’s photo-illustrated story at thierry-facon.]

One of Algy’s Tumblr friends, Thierry, lives in an exotic location on the other side of the world – a place very different from Algy’s northern home. Recently, Thierry has been reporting a sequence of strange events in his tropical garden. Unlike the gentle mosses and ferns in Algy’s mild environment, Thierry’s plants have grown alarming and dangerous, and now seem to have minds of their own.

Algy was keen to help his friend regain control over the evil plants, so he flew over to the old oak woods, to ponder the matter by an ancient woodland waterfall. The constant flow of the tumbling water in such a peaceful setting can be a great aid to clear thinking and inspiration, and there is much wisdom there …

(You can catch up with Thierry’s story and photos to date at thierry-facon.)