Doctor Earth
written & illustrated by grandad



Every two years, Doctor Earth has to check the health of our planet. He starts on the outside, then he goes deep inside and there the fun begins. He has to make sure that everyone is doing their job correctly, you will be amazed who actually lives inside our planet. He had arranged to get his team together for a final meeting before they left for their health check of the earth. It was going to be a hectic schedule, but it had to completed within the given time. They were flying out to the rainforest tomorrow morning and he needed to make sure the team was ready.



Doctor Earth had a number of assistants, but his favourite assistant was Doctor Stein, a very old fashioned doctor, but very efficient. He loved the heat, but didn't like the cold, so always enjoyed the health check of the earth, when they were either in the rainforest or anywhere hot. One of his jobs in the rainforest was to check the colour of the rainforest and he was happy to report it was still green, but not as green as it should be.



Doctor Earth had a number of new assistants on this trip, while they were in the rainforest one of them asked, what was the point of the rainforest. This stopped Doctor Earth completely in his tracks and immediately called the assistant over and got out his clipboard. "Rainforests are the lungs of the planet, for their role is absorbing carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas and producing oxygen. Which we all depend on, including you, for our survival." Said Doctor Earth.



Doctor Stein, loved the rainforest and the animals in it, most of the others were wary of the animals, not Doctor Stein. The animals loved him and there was mutual respect between them, it was like they almost knew he was looking after the rainforest. The first time the new assistants saw a leopard, they would usually run and climb a tree. This always made Doctor Stein giggle, as he just stood there and carried on working. There really was mutual respect between him and the animals.



Prior to the trip, all luggage was checked and weighed, Doctor Stein always giggled when he saw the new assistants and their luggage for the trip, this year one bought wellies, a massive raincoat and a rain hat. He told Doctor Stein he was preparing for the rainforest, Doctor Stein looked at him and said " I am sorry to disappoint you, but it does not rain every day in the rainforest." What made him laugh even more was watching the other assistants unpack their rainwear too and try to kick them under their chairs without anyone noticing.



The next part of the health check was in the arctic, they were able to fly most of the way, but the last part was a two day trip on a ship. Every 2 hours on the ship, night and day, they took readings. Doctor Stein however, was no where to be seen, as he really hated the cold. The thing Doctor Earth loved, was how quiet it was, how fresh the air was and the whales, so many different species. He enjoyed the cold and has even been seen eating an ice cream while walking around the deck, Doctor Stein however, was glued to the heaters in his cabin.



Doctor Earth loved the arctic for another reason, the walruses, he loves them with a passion. One of the things he always does, is check the health of them and especially their teeth. He has made for every trip some large electric toothbrushes, so he can clean their teeth and there is a lot of teeth to clean. The new assistants always believe the walruses will run away, but they actually love it and it almost appears that they queue up to have their teeth cleaned.



Doctor Earth heard the supply plane and knew that there was a group of politicians on the plane and he had just 2 hours to tell them about the arctic and how important it is to mankind. That because the earth's poles are cold and the sea ice is white, it reflects back over 80% of sunlight back into space. Doctor Earth loves our planet and gets very excited when he can tell people about it.



Doctor Earth and his team were spending their last day collecting data for the health check. They had been working about 30 minutes, when Doctor Earth looked around and the boat had gone. He asked his new assistant where it was and the new assistant replied "I tied it, to that white rock." But, when they looked, the white rock had gone, then Doctor Earth giggled as he looked out to sea and saw the white rock sitting in the boat shaking it's head. "young man, that white rock was a polar bear." Then the assistant coughed and said "erm, Doctor Jane, could we erm, have our boat back." She looked over, thought for a moment, giggled and said "maybe."



In the morning they caught the supply plane out, rather than the ship. As they were now heading to the sunny parts of the planet. Doctor Jane giggled and said certain assistant didn't need to sunbath when they got there, as his face was still very red. She was only teasing and everyone laughed, they were all looking forward to getting some warmth and sun.




Doctor Earth had finished checking the beach and the beach was in tip top condition. The only problem was, Doctor Stein was checking the sea water and it was impossible to get him out of the sea. Doctor Stein loved paddling and was not coming out any time soon. A crowd was forming to watch Doctor Stein paddling and he was also singing now. He was singing in German, so nobody understood him, but they all loved the tune. During the first two songs he shouted out to Doctor Earth the sea was in excellent condition.



Doctor Earth returned to the lab with his team after completing the earth health check on the outer part of the planet. He gave the team a week off and then they needed to attend training for the next part of the health check, which meant travelling inside the planet. Doctor Stein had done this part twice before, but no longer did it any more. As they were all about to leave for their break, Doctor Stein said "are you not going to tell them about the metal dragon inside the earth's core?" "what !!!!!!!!" they all said. Doctor Earth thought for a moment, then said "yes Doctor Stein, is correct, but not the kind of dragon you think it is, we will cover this when you come back from your break."



Doctor Jane was very intrigued and said "Doctor Earth, if I make you a coffee, will you tell me about the metal dragon?" Doctor Earth smiled and as he loved Doctor Jane's coffee, he nodded. As they drank their coffee, Doctor Earth explained, the metal dragon, is a jet stream of liquid iron, that is moving between Alaska and Siberia and is moving about 30 miles a year. That its almost 260 miles wide and wraps around half the planet and it has become so powerfully magnetic that it is influencing how the inner core is rotating. Doctor Jane realised even more now, how important this earth health check really was.



What Doctor Earth did not know, was that Doctor Jane had arranged for the other doctors to listen in, while she was talking to Doctor Earth. Of course, someone gave the game away, by standing to close to the window and making it spring open. Doctor Earth looked at them, they wondered what he was going to say, he just smiled and said "come in, the coffee is wonderful and it's better you sit and listen and thank you for caring." He then spent the next hour telling them about the metal dragon inside the earth and no one said a word as he talked.



Two weeks later, Doctor Earth and his team found themselves at the entrance to the inside of the planet. At the bottom of the cave, he did a roll call and he found one of the team was missing. Then he heard "erm Doctor Earth, I am over here." Doctor Earth looked around and there was one of the new assistants, standing on a rock, the only problem was, he was in the wrong place and there was a huge drop between them. It took an hour to get him lifted out and placed in the right place. Doctor Earth was not very happy, as they had a tight schedule to follow.



Doctor Earth and his team travelled for a number of hours until they were right under the arctic. They rested for a while and had a mug of hot chocolate before starting their work. Doctor Earth gave everyone their tasks and then started his own work. He always giggled at the start of every health check at the fact, that everyone on the surface, had no idea what was going on, inside the planet. As he looked around, he had such pride in his eyes, watching his team work, doing their work to the best of their ability, even the assistant that got slightly lost.



A new worker asked doctor Earth, why they had to work so hard. Doctor Earth replied "It is very important that the polar ice caps are frozen, because the snow they are covered in, reflect lots of light back into space, that would otherwise increase the overall temperature of Earth. So, you can see, this is serious work you are doing." With that, the worker picked up his shovel and continued shoveling the snow. He wondered if the people on the surface appreciated the work being done down here. Doctor Earth appreciated every single worker who worked inside the planet.



Doctor Earth loved seeing the excitement in his team, when they travelled around inside the earth. There was a railway which ran the length of the planet and they all loved travelling on it. It was faster than the Japanese bullet train. It had beds, a kitchen and showers. It allowed Doctor Earth and his team, to relax as they travelled around. Doctor Earth was taking his team, to not only see the metal dragon, but to do a health check on it.



Doctor Earth at every opportunity educates his team on each piece of the planet. "Why do we need all this heat Doctor Earth?" asked Doctor Jane. Doctor Earth replied "if the core was to cool completely, earth would grow cold and die. Cooling would also mean the loss of the magnetic shield around the earth created by heat from the core and this shield protects us from cosmic radiation. He then took them on to see the metal dragon.



Doctor Dave piped up, "no need to panic Doctor Jane, I have my sword and shield. Everyone giggled and then Doctor Earth said if you get too close to the metal dragon, it would melt your sword and shield and you too." Doctor Earth knew exactly how close to get to the metal dragon and even though they were quite a distance, the heat was unbearable and the metal dragon got new found respect from everyone. As they all remembered what Doctor Earth had told them a few weeks ago, about the metal dragon.



The last stop on Doctor Earth's health check of the planet, was the section which dealt with the earth spinning. Once again he educated his team on the importance of the earth needing to spin. If the earth stopped spinning, the atmosphere would still continue to spin at over 1100 miles an hour. The bad news is that everything that isn't attached to rock, would be swept away, the good news is, this won't happen for billions of years. One of the assistants said "phew, that's okay, I thought I was going to have to put rocks in all my pockets and I hate spinning and rollercoasters. With that everyone burst out laughing and applauded those working in this section.



As the train sped towards the pickup point, where they will be airlifted up to the surface, Doctor Earth waited in the seating area for his team to change. He was very proud of his team, they have done an incredible job, not complained and given their best and he could not ask more of them. The health check, has shown the earth was in a good condition, but mankind had to care for it, not just today, but every day and that's a message he knew this team would pass on.