Nine-year-old Lulu was the tree-climbing champion of her village. She climbed trees faster than squirrels and scrambled up bamboos faster than boys slid down their stalks.
Villagers far and near asked Lulu to help them harvest fruits from the tall trees, and her family boasted of her prowess.
Lulu loved climbing more than she loved birthday cakes. One summer day, when Lulu climbed halfway up a tung oil tree, she sank her fingers into something chilly and sticky. When she paused to look, thousands of slugs from the tree trunk swarmed her skin. She fell and never again climbed a tree.