Whisper of Hope


The wind allowed the trees to speak in whispers, and so they did with both each other and with the strange creatures who lived on them. Somewhere safe in the middle of a large forest lived a neighborhood of talkative trees and their equally chatty creatures. 

“Have you heard? Have you heard?” tweeted the little bird. “The beasts are coming, the beasts are coming.” 

“Be calm, little bird,” whispered the trees. “The beasts have approached before but have not bothered us yet. There is no need to fret.”  

Then, although they were at a considerable distance, the neighbors heard with clarity a metallic whir ripping through the hush of the forest. However, louder than that were the screams of agony that soon followed. The little bird flapped up and above to take a better look. The trees were falling. 

“The beasts are here. Oh, no, don’t you all hear? They’re right there!” said the bird. 

“Yes, yes, stupid bird, we can hear just fine,” spat the snake. 

“We’re all going to die,” croaked the frog. 

“Maybe if we are quiet, they’ll leave us be,” suggested the trees. 

“No!” said all the trees’ creatures.  

“They never do,” hissed the snake.  

And so, although there was no need to be quiet, the neighbors listened without a word to the dying screams of the distant trees until the beasts had tired at the pinking of the sky. 

“What should we do?” asked the stag beetle. 

“What can we do?” the snake retorted. “It’s not as if we can get up and move out of the way.” 

The trees took a giant breath through their closing stomas and said, “Wrong. We cannot, but for those who can, you must leave now!” With that order, the tired trees yawned up into the pink and purple sky and fell asleep. 

When they woke, all that possessed wings, legs, or other strange ways to move about had left. All but the snake and the little bird. The trees did not ask them to go, for truthfully, they were scared of being alone. All they could do now was hope the beasts would go away. 

The metallic noise suddenly stopped. Oh good, the trees signed in relief, the beasts had left. 

“No no no no no no no!” screamed the bird. She spotted the unnaturally foul smelling beasts of different shapes and sizes roll languidly into their neighborhood. 

“They have come,” the snake lamented. 

The trees shuddered and hummed one last word to their loyal friends, “Run.”  

Perhaps death by beast was the fate of their kind, and perhaps they were too naive about the world. Despite the imminent roars of the monsters, they could not relinquish their hope. 

And as the trees closed their eyes, they smelt a new creature walk into their neighborhood with what sounded like two legs. 

“Stop!” it shouted at the beasts. 

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