Suddenly, Amalee has $2,881.32 to explore her world – given to her by a grandmother she met only once.

It all started with a grandmother Amalee didn’t know existed, and her request to meet her granddaughter. It wasn’t a very long visit, but they talked about two important things—the giant champagne bottle almost as tall as Amalee herself, filled with coins, and about her grandmother’s philosophy of life—“Look at the world. Listen to the world. It will teach you valuable things and important wisdom.”

A little over a week after that visit, a huge crate arrived for Amalee. When she opened it, there was the bottle of coins and a note from her grandmother. “I hope these coins will help you pursue your interest in the world. I recommend you use them now.”

Suddenly, Amalee had $2,881.32 to explore her world. But that wasn’t all she had. Every so often someone had dropped receipts into the bottle along with their change. Receipts for sparkly barrettes, pharmacy and grocery receipts, all giving her clues about her grandparents and the mother that Amalee had never known, because she died when Amalee was just a baby.

And the final thing to come from the bottle was an idea, an idea about how Amalee could explore her world. She could make a movie, like her English teacher had done, to tell a story he thought was important. The story Amalee wanted to tell was about the Earth and the Web of Life, about how wonderfully complex Nature was, and about how every species, no matter how small or insignificant, deserves to live.

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