Tag Archives: environment

Voice Of The Forest

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Once more I find myself too surrounded and overwhelmed by assignments to write anything new. Luckily, I was digging through old files again and found this essay I wrote in high school for Green Week. Enjoy!


It is such a beautiful day. The bright crimson sun is shining its light down on the cascading forest below, glazing hills and valley with tinges of white and basking the population of lush greenery with a comforting, warm glow. Today is one of those better days; it is not often that such beauty is preserved for my being to witness. Beneath the shade I cast on the ground, flowers are beginning to open, as excited as I am to start the day. I have a lot to do today; I must absorb as much sunlight as I can before the clouds begin to circle, and I must work on bearing fruit.

Oh, how silly of me! I have forgotten to introduce myself to you. I am a tree. Yes, that’s right, a tree! I have leaves and shoots and a rough bark and tough roots, and I’m brightly coloured with scarlet fruit. As you can tell, I am quite proud of my appearance. My friends always chide and reprimand me for being so vain, but I am a creation of God. How can I not find myself wonderful?

I am not all just looks, you know. I am useful, too, and I have brains to go with my brawn. I am home to a family of little sparrows, and my trunk houses a pair of squirrels. The birds and squirrels always argue, but I think they secretly enjoy being neighbours. I must not forget to tell you that Mr and Mrs Sparrow’s eggs hatched yesterday. I am so excited to house them on my branches.

Hang on a moment. I can hear someone coming, a human. It is not unusual for people to take relaxing walked in the forest, and I am always especially ecstatic when they stop to rest beneath me, using my trunk as a backrest. There is a group of children that comes here on the weekends and they always play hide-and-seek, often scurrying to find sanctuary behind me or clambering up my branches to hide. I hope it’s them, as they are always so fun to watch.

However, I soon find that this is not the case. It is, in fact, around ten adult males. They are dressed oddly in faded blue jeans, long-sleeved shirts, strange orange vests and bright yellow hats that look hard and sturdy, and each one is carrying a can of some sort. I have never had problems with humans before, but for some reason, I feel a little wary, as if I sense something bad is going to happen.

The men shake the cans in their grips then begin to spray symbols onto my brothers and sisters. It takes me a moment to see what they are writing, but when I do, I notice that my siblings all have bright red “X”s plastered onto their barks. I am afraid that they will spray me, too, but they do not. Instead, after half an hour, they walk away and disappear through the pathway. Neither my family nor my friends know what the “X” means, but we can only hope it is not anything bad.

The morning slowly fades away, passing into noon. I am about to doze off when I hear a loud rumbling emitting from the pathway. The ground shakes beneath me as I turn my attention towards it. Before long, I see an entire row of trucks moving up the driveway, followed by a few vehicles that I think are called bulldozers. They have huge wheels and a big shovel-like mechanisms attached to their front. I wonder what they are doing here, and then I recognise the men driving them as the same ones from this morning. The trucks are noisy, and I sense the sparrows and squirrels become frightened. I wish the humans would turn their machines off.

Suddenly, the bulldozer moves forward speedily, and its shovel slams into the lower trunk of one of my brothers. I watch in horror as my brother attempts to remain rooted, but the automation is too strong and he falls over, crashing thunderously to the ground. Meanwhile, some more people have arrived, carrying long, sharp weapons with rotating blades. My sister tells me that it is a chainsaw, but I barely hear her as a man strikes his weapon into my best friend’s bark, breaking him open, and he falls to the forest floor in a crumpled heap, his leaves tangling together messily, branches splintering and falling apart dramatically.

I feel myself tremble in fear. I want to scream, but how can I? I have no voice, and the humans regard me lowly. I can do nothing but look on and grieve as all my relatives are cut cleanly across their centre, each one tumbling in slow motion to the forest floor, and are carried to rest in the trucks. Animals scurry across the floor in frantic panic, but few manage to escape as they are crushed beneath fallen trunks and perish. Even if they escape, where are they to go? This forest had been their home for years.

The destruction rages on until the sun begins to set, and dark, ominous clouds begin to gather in the sky. I hear one of the men shout something, but I am too numbed by pain and sadness to pay attention. Then one of the men starts to spray red paint onto the remaining trees. This time, he does not leave me out. The paint feels cold on my trunk, alien and unwelcome. The men gather their belongings and leave, just as the first splashes of rain begin to drizzle onto me. The paint does not wash off, even as the thunder cracks across the sky and droplets hit the ground at increasing speed.

I guess this is my fate, then. I have often heard stories of killed trees and what becomes of them. I am told that they are made into paper and furniture, which are both useful objects for humans. I suppose that would be alright, as long as I am still useful, but I would really rather not work for heartless, cruel humans who can murder and kill, taking away lives without a single thought, leaving destruction in their wake.

I hope one day, I get made into paper; for a school magazine, perhaps. Then maybe, just maybe, I will be able to tell someone my story, and that someone will care about it, but I doubt it. I have seen many humans today, but I have seen no humanity. Hopefully, there is still some love left in the world, but I cannot know for sure. I guess I will just have to wait and see.

Bug Adventures

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So there I was, minding my own business in my room, when some annoying insect decided to take a break on my shoulder. I barely noticed it… Until it left me with a little red bump of irritated skin. I constantly attract the attention of bugs everywhere I go, so I thought nothing of it.

That evening, I ended up with three more bumps from insect bites and got mildly annoyed. I tried to look for the meddling creature but failed and had to be content with wearing a long-sleeved shirt (during the dry season!) all night to prevent more bites.

This scenario continued all week so I began a tireless pursuit of the single tiny creature that haunted me each time I set foot in my room. My efforts bore no fruit as I became increasingly frustrated with the insect that perpetually raised exasperating red bumps on my skin that I scratched in my sleep, causing ugly little things all over my arms.

Two days ago, I was trying to ignore the new bite forming over my skin, I caught a glimpse of the bug that had been incessantly, well, bugging me since forever (exaggeration?). I got up and stalked over to where it was on the wall. I smacked my hand into the hard brown-painted cement (ouch). Ignoring the smarting in my hand, I checked if I had finally caught the thing.

No! It had just whizzed around my head tauntingly and flown off!

For a quarter-hour I chased after that annoying insect. I leaped and jumped; I grabbed and grasped; I stumbled and tripped. After 15 short minutes I gave up. That thing would elude me forever.

In my exhaustion I leaned against the wall. After a few seconds I got off to resume my homework and noticed a black stain on my left sleeve and a matching one on the wall.

I went nuts. After a whole week and 15 annoying minutes of chasing, it had come to this? In the end it took no effort. And I ended up with a stain on my favourite orange shirt. And I had to clean the stubborn goop of the wall.

And of course, I accidentally squashed the insect.

From The Top of The World

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Standing at 3500 feet above sea level, I gaze down upon the lavish greenery and looked across at all the other mountains. No longer tormented by a fear of heights, I find myself actually enjoying the view. It’s really beautiful. It’s so easy to forget yourself and everything else when you’re surrounded by nature, really. Especially when it’s so rare now. 

As we hike back down the mountain, I think about how nice it would be if a lot of the country was still full of lush greens (well, maybe minus the insects). We get into the car and drive all the way down. 

Much later, we reach the city and in an instant it’s like we’re in a different realm. Everyone honks, swerves, cuts into lanes and we’re thrown off guard by the mentality of the drivers. When we get to our service apartment and I glance out the window I’m greeted by a – and this is an understatement – hideous view of strewn trash and hazy skies. Everything else that could have been seen is blocked by skyscrapers; countless buildings that seem to only be competing with each other to see who can reach the heavens first. 

After the breathtaking landscape from the top of the mountain, I’m not so sure if I can get used to this. 

What if, one day, I trek back up the mountain (if it’s still there, that is) and look down and all I see are buildings and haze and cars and highways? Won’t it be a sorry thing for everyone else? Or maybe some people won’t even have gotten the chance to witness the beauty of the real natural environment (redundant, I know!). 

Well, all I can say is, I shall cherish nature while I can! =D