“I’m sick and tired of hearing you drone on and on about how you are going to save the planet. You and your so-called ‘tree-hugger’ friends are a bunch of hypocrites.”
Josh jumped up from the stoop he was sitting on. “Who’s there?” he asked nervously.
“You say you care about the forests, the lakes, the rivers, and the air, but you spew your poisons out all over us all the time,” the voice said.
Josh frantically looked around. “Whoever you are, show yourself.”
“I know your kind, human. You’re blind to most of what is happening around you,” the voice said, “but if you turn to your right, and open your eyes, you’ll see me.”
Josh turned his head and saw a tree looking at him with two large, brown eyes. It had a mouth full of human-like teeth. “Jeez, am I having an acid flashback?” Josh said aloud.
“You wish,” said the tree. “You’re killing me, man. Me and my timber mates.”
“I’m not killing you, tree,” Josh said. “I love nature. That’s why I’m camping out here in the middle of the woods. To be one with nature.”
“But you are, indeed, killing me by allowing the lumber industry to decimate the forests,” the tree responded. “And you’re killing the streams and rivers with your unabated industrial runoff. And you’re spoiling the atmosphere through your dependence on fossil fuels.”
“Not me, tree,” Josh said, defensively. “I drive a Prius.”
“Not you? Why? because you drive a hybrid car?” the tree laughed. “Didn’t your president just weaken fuel economy standards that made new cars more fuel efficient and more environmentally friendly? Who did you vote for in 2016?”
Josh turned red. “Well, he’s been good for the economy.”
“He’s been rolling back all of the environmental protections that his predecessor put in place and it’s destroying my home…and yours, as well,” tree said. How long to you think the economy will continue booming after everyone ends up dead because people can’t drink the water or breathe the air without getting sick and dying?”
“Oh tree, I’m so sorry,” Josh cried. “I’m so sorry, so sorry….”
Josh felt something touch his shoulder and he heard a familiar voice. “Wake up, honey, you’re talking in your sleep, saying something about being sorry. You must be having a nightmare,” his wife said.
“We’re all living in a nightmare,” Josh said, still shaking. Once he realized that he was safe at home in his bed, he sat up and said to his wife. “Starting tomorrow we need to save the trees.”
“What are you talking about?” his wife asked.
“And we’re going to vote for Biden in November.”
Written for the What Do You See? prompt from Sadje at Keep It Alice. Photo credit: Pixabay- Willgard.