Mom: Ohnny, you’re going even if you turn blue.
Kid: Don’t want to. What good is a stupid park?
Mom: You’ll learn something you can’t learn here. See cool things like animals you’ve only seen in pictures.
Kid: But’s it’s going to take days and days and days. I’m going to die!
Mom: It takes three days each way, and your Rangers will keep you very busy. And you have to exercise along the way.
Kid: I know I know, I don’t wanna go!
Mom packed up her 9 year old with required gear, some mom-required gear, and then extra for good luck. All the kids were loaded onto the school bus, strapped in extra tightly, kissed again, and sent off. The parents breathed a sigh of relief, most of them looking forward to a few weeks of quiet.
The kids split in smaller groups, each guided by their accompanying Rangers. By way of deserts, jungles, rivers, mountains and cliffs each one got to see a bit of unadulterated Nature, the landscapes of their distant ancestors.
Ohnny wasn’t the best behaved little boy, and during 4th day, a special transport showed up.
Ohnny the Kid: Grandma!
Grandma: Hello spitfire. I hear you’ve been causing trouble for your teacher.
Kid: Not really. Maybe a little. I’m sorry.
Grandma: You’re going to be extra sorry now. (To the Ranger:) I’ll take him, young man. And he’ll be returned in pieces if he doesn’t shape up, understand Ohnny?
Ranger and Kid: Yes, Ma’am.
Ranger: I’m glad you’re here. He’s a good boy, just, animated.
Grandma: Out of control? Sounds like his father. A lot like his grandpa, too, now that I think about it. That old fart, he just missed his 102nd birthday.
Ranger: I’m sorry. You must miss him so.
Grandma: I don’t miss the old coot. He missed his birthday because he’s on Mars helping with the Terran-dome exhibit. He’s a lichen specialist and that stupid mold is giving them problems. He’s going to live till he’s 150, unless I kill him first.
Ranger: You must be quite the experts to be full-time Terrans.
Grandma: We know our stuff. Someone has to repair this place, considering the damage done by our ancestors. A few more centuries and it will be back to where it was during the Egyptians.
Ranger: You get a whole planet to yourself, one big park. You’re lucky.
Grandma: Lucky? This is hard, full-time work. And I don’t need a snot-nosed kid diddling with my agenda, Ohnny! Get back here!
Grandma continued: You’ve got the work, turning the whole moon into one huge city. That can’t be fun, living with all those people breathing down your neck. That’s another reason we opted to stay here.
Ranger: It’s not so bad. All the trappings of civilization that used to be in the big cities, like New York or Paris, you can only find those on Luna, and soon on Mars. Someday it’ll be completely covered, we’re up to over 15 billion already.
Grandma: Good luck to you. Okay, as promised, he’ll be back by sundown. And if he so much as breathes funny, let me know and he answers to me. Got it?
Ranger: Yes Ma’am.
Kid: Yes Grandma Ma’am!
She laughed and walked away, Ohnny holding her hand tightly.