In A Dream This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   As the old Ojibwa Indian slept, he dreamt many strange things, things yet to come. He was walking in a land gutted and barren of life, with only weathered tree trunks to show that life had ever been here. With a start, the old man realized that these were the woods of his reservation, his home. He wandered through this wasteland, and after a while, he came to a part of the woods that still stood. The Ojibwa watched as white men, armed with strange noisy axes, chopped down the few remaining trees. He watched as a huge yellow mechanical monster hauled away the cut-down trees, roaring and spouting noxious grey smoke.

Suddenly, the old man heard a voice: "Lo, behold! We are the spirits of the last remaining trees, once worshipped by your ancestors. Now we are but tools of man, to be killed, used and discarded."

The old man fell to his knees amid the lifeless stumps, "How? How did this happen?"

"Man has spread across this land like a plague. Where once there were only scattered tribes of humans, now the earth overflows with humans, more than it was ever supposed to support. Trees and animals alike die to make way for humans. And still their numbers grow! Their wastes are dumped on land and in air, poisoning the very land and waters that support them. They rape the earth, taking her black blood to feed their machines, which exude poisonous gases into the air. Their crimes against all life are many, and they bring upon themselves their own destruction as well as the destruction of their planet. Please, you must ..."

The old Ojibwa watched as one of the men dug his whirling blade into the body of the largest tree. He got up and ran toward the man. He grabbed one of the white man's arms and attempted to pull him away from the tree.

"Please, you don't know what you're doing! You mustn't."

The white man pushed him to the ground."Get lost, old man! You're ancient history."

The old Ojibwa watched as the huge tree fell. He heard its death screams inside his head. As he lay on the ground, tears running down his swollen cheeks, a single leaf drifted down toward him. As he caught it, a mist swirled around him and the barren world disappeared.

He woke to the sound of birds calling in the distance. What a horrible dream, the old Indian thought to himself. As he rose from his bed, he noticed something in his curled fist. It was a single crushed leaf. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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