When she’s four, the sky is clear. She stargazes in the summer nights with her Mom and Dad, and they always point out the constellations like the Big Dipper, or Hercules, and she always listens with rapt attention when they tell stories about how Hercules would go on great quests, and save the world! She smiles nowadays, looking back on these memories.

When she’s six, the summers get significantly hotter. She begs her parents to buy a swimming pool, but they always deny her, smiling and saying that they could always go to the public pool. The pool shuts down soon after, because the water dries up so frequently that it would take two days to refill the pool, and then it dries up again in one.

When she’s eight, her family starts stockpiling bottled water. “Just in case, honey,” her Dad tells her, smiling despite the yellowing sky. She overhears her parents whispering about the “Great Drought” and wondering if they should move elsewhere.

When she’s ten, she knows what she wants to be. Her classmates want to be police officers, nurses, firefighters, but she wants to be a environmentalist, to help the world become cleaner and more healthy for all living things! All her classmates mock her, making fun of her and saying she’s a “hippie” and that she’ll never do anything important in her life, but she knows better.

When she’s twelve, she makes the first step to making the world a better place. She starts donating her extra lunch money to charities that help clean trash, and with the help of her parents, she officially makes the Earth and Air foundation. She won’t stop here, though. She knows it.

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Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
1 year ago

I like the link to the Hercules story, Dan.

Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
1 year ago

I love your protagonist, Dan. She is the future of our world. The way you took us through the rapid deterioration of the star viewing, the water supply, the comfortable summers – all in the short period of her childhood – was very powerful. We’re all experiencing these things, but… Read more »

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Wow! I admire your protagonist, Dan. I love her so much. It is rare for a child to think that way to help the world. To me, she was a little hero in the world. A little, but the contribution is immeasurable to society. Well-written story, Dan. A warm welcome… Read more »

Juma
Juma(@juma)
1 year ago

Dan, this story makes me sad. Like your little girl, I used to watch the constellations at night and imagine all the heroes of the legends. I haven’t seen the stars in a while – mostly because it’s been too hot to be outside, even at night! Hopefully, when fall… Read more »

Alan Kemister
Alan Kemister(@alan-kemister)
1 year ago

Your young protagonist gives us hope. I hope as she grows older she can maintain her devotion to environmental causes. Too many don’t.

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