The Tallest Tree
Try being a sapling.
Try fighting to sprout from a seed, break through the dirt, earth, and worms to finally see the world for the first time.
You feel the air, you see the greens and browns surrounding you. The sound of the whistling wind, singing birds.
You look up at your whispering ancestors who have been around for eons – they’ve watched this world develop.
I cannot wait to join them up there, to see the open blue sky.
But this will take time, something we may not have.
I hear the roar of engines far away; I hear the hum and noise of people – I hear them shout.
The scariest noise to a little tree like me is the scream of the chainsaw, the crack of one of my family’s trunks splintering.
Another tree gone.
I am reaching desperately for the heavens, please – let me see the great forest, let me see that open sky.
I want my family around me, I want their wisdom from centuries of living on this planet.
Every metre I get closer to that sky, the humans get closer.
I just want to see it. Just once.
The noises get louder, I can feel there are less and less trees nearby – I feel their roots shrivel and wilt next to my own.
But I’m so close!
I’m nearly there!
I can be the tallest, just give me a chance! I will soak up all the toxins, I will provide a home for that wildlife you all love so much, I’ll provide you with the cleanest oxygen I can!
Just let me grow up.
I can see the sky, but for how long?
I am nowhere near my full height, my family, my species, everything is gone.
Chopped down and turned to mulch.
The humans have built their shelters around me, their offspring climb me and play on me. I am the last one standing.
The sky looks so small and grey.
What’s the point in being the tallest tree when you are the only one left?
How long until my time is up?