A picture-perfect sight! Fertile soils, colorful butterflies, thick forests and the cool breeze that swept through them, carrying with it the charming fragrances of plumerias, roses and lavenders. Her nostrils enthusiastically danced with the fragrant breeze, hardly distinguishing one fragrance from the other.
“Kia! Kia! Wake up!” Grandma Nulo called angrily. “You still have work to do and you are there lazing around!” she yelled —her face frowning. “But grandma, there are no rains, what’s the use in planting? We did it last year, the other year and the year before, all to no avail!” retorted Kia. She knew she had work to do but she couldn’t help but fall asleep, dreaming about her grandmother’s stories of a once beautiful Malala land.
It was farming season again. There had been little rain in the past years, and nothing at all in the recent three years. Most of the trees had been cut down for timber and charcoal. The once loamy soil was all dry and flaky, revealing signs of desperation, sucking in every little drop of water that fell to the ground.
A hot dry wind stirred up small whirlwinds of dust and sand, forcing Kia to squint. The once golden beauty was way too harsh to be regarded as beauty any longer; it had sucked the life out of every living creature. Animal skeletons and carcasses laid around, dried up streams and muddy rivers were all that could meet the eye. For Kia and the other children, grandma Nulo’s perfect description of Malala land was a mere fantasy — too good to be true.