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Fallen Comrades

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With a crashing groan, the last of my comrades have fallen. The past three moon cycles have been torture for me and my family leaving me to now stand alone. As the night settles in, the two-legged humans are leaving until the morrow, when they come to bring me down. My last night is to be spent in a too quite battlefield littered with the bodies of my offspring and comrades.

I remember when I first came to rest in the warm moist earth that became my home. The soil had cradled me until my roots sank deeper and my trunk started reaching up, breaking into the sweet air. There were none others around me at the time either, but the grass and small shrubs kept me company as I grew in the warm bosom of nature. Nearly as soon as I was strong enough, a couple of birds built their home and started a family in my branches. Bigger animals would seek shelter under me from the sun or the rain, and I took pleasure in their company. I stood in the field which was my home, watching family after family come and go.

Eventually, the fruits I released every year paid off, and I had a family growing too. With my growing family came more animals who kept us company. They brought us news in exchange for a place to sleep for the night. Sometimes they, like the birds who had stayed in my branches a few years before, would have a family in the small hollow under my roots. As I grew, the hollow grew, and bigger families were staying longer. My family now stretched across what used to be the plain in which I had once stood alone. I stood the tallest, and everyday I would look out over my kingdom, my family. These were the happiest of my years.

Animals who passed through my family's trunks started bringing news of creatures who walked on two legs, somewhat like birds, but didn't fly. They were making their way through the land, coming our way. But the animals assured us they were as peaceful as they were strange. Soon, these two-legged creatures came. I learned they were called humans. They became our friends. Some stayed to grow their own family under our branches, others kept going, exploring the land past where I could see from my tallest leaf.

These humans were brown of skin, and had barely any fur at all. They would take the fur from the animals they killed and ate to cover themselves during the cold months and they never took more than what they needed. I often heard them offering thanks to nature for giving them these things. We lived many years in peace.

Then the pale ones came. The were physically like our brown friends, but had white skin, instead of brown, and they had a terrible greed. They always took more than was needed, and threw out whatever was left, wasting so much of nature's gifts. I watched as they slyly took from my kind brown friends, unable to help.

One day, the white humans attacked my friends, killing the males, and taking the women and children. The pain was great and I prayed for nature to take care of what she could. There was a terrible anger inside me that made me want to be able to rip my roots from the ground and strangle the white humans, sending them back to nature so she could punish them as they deserved. But it was useless, and I stayed firmly rooted in the soil. I knew my family and I had not seen the end of the white ones.

And I was right. I watched for years as they came through, taking my family and friends. Dividing us to make big trails for their forms of transfer. I foolishly thought this was the worst they could do.

Coming in huge numbers and bringing many sharp tools, they started on the east side of my family. They started killing us. First cutting us down, they digging up the roots that were clinging desperately to the soil which held us tightly. Day after day, I listened to my family's cries of pain. It was the worst torture imaginable, hearing their cries, feeling a worse anger than I have ever before felt, and being unable to do anything.

I remember the one shot of happiness I felt in the long months. They had already passed me, deciding to take me down at the end, because I was so big. One of my descendants crushed one of the white humans to the ground. I felt the joy of my family. I felt nature taking back some of the blood which was owed to her by the white humans. That was the last time I felt a good feeling.

My desire to live died with the last of my family. The tree furthest west, a mere sapling, crying for her life as the humans took her down with some swings of their axes. The sun was setting, so they left until tomorrow, leaving me alone with my memories and the fallen bodies of my comrades. Indeed, while I have been remembering in my silent vigil, the first of the sun's rays have started peeking over the bare horizon to fall onto my family's branches.

I see the cloud of dust of the white humans approaching me. My time here will soon be over. I cast my eyes over the view which surrounded me for the last time.



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applesauceHater said...
Nov. 30, 2011 at 6:24 pm
You've got nothing to worry about. You have a talent for writing, so post all your work and watch the comment and views stack up. Though, as you've heard, people do love feed back for feedback. So if you're bored and have time, take a look of  at mine. view it, rate it, and critique it(or whatever)! Help me learn from my mistakes. One thing is that i loved the point ov view in your writing. Really cool
 
RebeccaJoy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 30, 2011 at 6:09 pm

i agree. its really good

 

 
swifthearth said...
Nov. 30, 2011 at 5:47 pm

I love this. Why hasn't it been published yet?

 

 
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