Fiction: The Amazon Burn

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

March 26, 2011


Categories: One a Day, Post a Day 2011

Amazon Rainforest created by ?????:?? ????

Image via Wikipedia

Twenty years ago from today, the Amazon Rain Forest was set on fire. What was left was burned to the ground in hopes of more farmland for the shrinking South American Continent. The birds and animals, what were left, died when the fire started. It was as if their hearts knew they were done for, and their own survival instincts urged them to go with their long-gone brothers and sisters.

The World knew it was coming. It was talked about, debated, discussed at length for years. Yes, it belongs on one continent, but the whole world needs its benefits. Stop exploiting our labor, our land if you want it so much, the natives rich retorted.

But, slowly, while all the talk went on, the forest was stripped away to make room for farms, subdivisions, and mining. One day, a spark from the mining flew, but it didn’t stop. The forest had been so stripped barren that it had little defense against the one, tiny spark. Since the habitats of the exotics had long since eroded, the animals that were left had no fight left in them. With the barren-ness of the forest, desertification had begun to set. Kindling was what was left. After that spark ignited: only ash, like the mountain after a volcano.

It was as if this spark ignited the sleeping dragon. Sure, unions were busted. The haves versus have nots had been divided more than anyone could ever imagine, for years. But, a part of the human spirit hung onto the solitude only nature can supply. Suddenly, in one week, the world’s most cherished solace erupted in flames, turned to ambers, and over the course of a few weeks it all turned to ash.

Scientists studying the after affects were amazed at the charred remains: bones, plant life, remnants of third world civilizations. All the talk turned to ash because we couldn’t, wouldn’t pay attention to such a simple concept: stewardship for someone’s home.

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