They stared out at the edge of the jungle, just beyond the trees. An overwhelming sadness engulfed the group as they watched from a distance. Many
times they have seen this thing standing there, lifeless, motionless, waiting for something. The scene was different today though. The huge beast
roared and moved forward, its claws ripping at the flesh of the trees. One by one it knocked them down, swiftly, defiantly removing anything in its
path. The strong root systems of the oldest trees were no match for it. They fell as quickly as the youngest, most vulnerable did. What had taken
centuries to build, took only minutes for it to destroy. The group started to scream and screech their rage and frustration, thumping their fists on
their chest, jumping and throwing things at the beast. But the beast just kept moving forward, paying no mind to their outbursts. After a few
minutes, most of the group had moved back farther into the forest, not wanting to get caught in the beast’s path. But Nadu and Gatu remained. This
was the first time they had ever seen this beast and they were very curious about it.
Gatu was horrified as he watched the beast slay the trees. What would make anyone want to do such a thing? Had the trees declared war against the
beast? Gatu had never known any tree to make war. He had only known the strength of their limbs as he jumped from one to another. The safety of their
leaves as he hid from danger. They had kept him safe in their limbs at night and sheltered from the elements during the day. Not once had a tree done
anything terrible to him or his family. He did not understand what was going on. Looking to his brother for some reassurance, he saw that his brother
was confused as well. The only thing he did know was that there was a great emotion building up in his belly. He felt frightened, sad, and angry all
at the same time.
Nadu signaled for him to follow and they swung from branch to branch, heading closer to the beast. It took them some time, but they eventually had
circled around and came in from the side, staying out of the beast’s path of destruction. Nadu pointed at the head, it was hollow and there was
something inside it. When Gatu felt it was safe, he swung in a little closer and saw what was controlling the beast, a human, the most dangerous
predator on Earth.
Not because they had big teeth like the Jaguar, or because they had huge claws like the Tiger, but only because not one other creature on this planet
knew why they did the things they did. They never made sense to anyone. All they did was consume everything. And while every other animal had a
purpose for what they did, these creatures did not. MawMaw says that they are like a swarm of locusts, that they go from place to place and destroy
everything in their path. But even locust have a reason why they do this, humans do not.
Gatu looks at his brother and he signaled it was time to go back to the group. In a day or so they would be forced to leave their home and head deeper
into the jungle. The humans were getting close to their nest and they knew the beast wouldn’t stop until its belly was full. As they swung from
limb to limb, they said goodbye to the trees, their fate already sealed. Gatu felt that the fate of his family was sealed as well. Heading deeper into
the jungle meant many of their group would not survive.
Gatu looked at his brother and wondered if he would still be around tomorrow, or the next day, or even in a few weeks. The deeper they were forced
into the jungle, the shorter their life span would become. All because the humans needed more room, they always needed more of everything. When would
they stop consuming? They already had so much space and now they wanted more. Gatu screamed in frustration, did they not know they were hurting his
family? Did they not see they were taking too much? When would they stop taking and start giving? Planting saplings to replace what they took, how can
they ever replace the great trees that had stood centuries strong and proud? It would take thousands of years for the jungle to grow back to its
original grandeur. And his family already had to move deeper into the jungle at least twice before. If only there was some way to make them see, if
only they could understand what they were doing.
Gatu and his brother finally made it back to the nest and the others were all gathered in the middle grooming one another. They would be leaving the
next morning to find another nest, but until then, they would act as if nothing was amiss.
Drada was only a few feet away from the group, watching over them as they groomed. His proud stance was a little off today, it was his job to keep the
family safe, and he wasn’t so confident he was going to be able to do that anymore. The worried look in his eyes betrayed any show of confidence he
Mawmaw was holding the very young close to her chest as a show of protection. She wanted to keep her babies safe, and it was her job to do so. But it
was getting harder and harder to do it with the humans taking more and more of their jungle. Looking down at the young, she worried about their fate.
Gatu and his brother settled in with the rest of the group. What would become of his family once they left this place? What would become of his
species if the humans didn’t stop? He knew he couldn’t worry about tomorrow and that he had to live one day at a time. Tomorrow would be a new
day, with new challenges and he would have to do as he always did, fight to survive.
edit on 17-11-2013 by blend57 because: (no reason given)