October 8, 2008
The distant trickling of water hums below me. The colors of fall are painted on the tops of the trees. And I, I am flying above it all. My wings outstretched, fluttering above land and time.

But then, just as suddenly, the picturesque slur stopped. The crystal clear air was clouded and smothered in smog. The trees died as if scorched by flames. The water turned sickly green and oozed between buildings that had sprung up from the earth. My lungs, once filled with a delicate song now ached with the burning of this new air.

I suddenly fell weak and my wings began to whither. Desperately, I flapped until I could no longer maintain and I dropped. Gracefully I floated to the dark new earth that held all life captive. As it began to fade from my fogging vision I glimpsed something strange; figures, as black as shadows, passing by. I chirped for help, but it was cruelly muffled by the sounds of engines and horns racing by.

With one last attempt, I sang. With every last breath I sang my beautiful song, and it seemed for that one instant that the whites of their eyes were turned down at me. Then the song ended, and they walked or ran to whatever called them and forgot all about that gentle creature lying in the death of their “improvements.”

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