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Dated: Wednesday, August 21, 2019

It was a perfect day. The sky was clear, the sunlight bright enough to bring sparkle to the windows of Mariyam’s room. She was full of excitement this morning and was frantically preparing her sports bag for her remarkable adventure to the forest that was nearby. She called her friend Amna when she was all done. They both decided to meet in the forest. Mariyam left for this awaited  adventure by 10 o’clock in the morning. Mariyam was a very adventurous girl and all she wanted was to explore every single corner of the world.

Mariyam reached the forest cycling all the way from her house. “Hey Mary! Thank god you are here. I was waiting for you for the last 15 minutes,” shouted Amna impatiently. “Oh yeah, I am sorry. You know I had to borrow my brother’s camera to capture some memories of this adventure so I was just buttering him all the time,” replied Mariyam having a broad smile on her face. “Anyways start exploring now – I am too delighted,” shrieked Amna in excitement.

Both the friends entered the forest walking slowly and noticing every single detail of the forest from the canopy to the forest floor that was filled with hundreds of lush green trees. “I think we should start exploring this huge forest by walking on different paths. You should walk towards the left side and I will continue my adventure by going to the right side,” suggested Mariyam. Both of them were now on their way to uncover the beauty of the forest.

The place was eerily quiet except for the chirping of the birds. Mariyam was lost in observing the blossoming flowers. Suddenly, she was distracted by the weight on her shoulders. It felt like someone had kept a hand on her shoulders. But who could be there, as Amna was busy in discovering the left side of the forest. A loud noise boomed, sending shivers down her spine “MARIYAM! Is that you?” Terror seized Mariyam. She couldn’t gather the courage to turn back. But all of a sudden she was swung around by a strong force. Mariyam was at a loss for words when she saw a tall and broad tree standing in front of her.

“You, you are the one who axes our parts. Right?” screamed the tree in extreme rage. “Umm… but ….who….a tr….tree,” trembled Mariyam panic-stricken. “Yes! It is me. A tree and my name is Mr. Tree. I am not here to scare you but I am sent here by the families of other trees who told me that you had killed their family members,” ranted Mr. Tree with fury in his eyes. Mariyam stood rooted to the ground. “No, no, no, I never cut any tre…tre…tree”, implored Mariyam. “Oh so what you did with two trees in your school and the other tall tree in your neighborhood; what you did with it? HUH? Didn’t you and one of your ill-intentioned friends cut it with an axe just to get a little piece of the trunk? You actually don’t know but that tree was my closest friend. Perhaps you don’t know the feeling of losing someone so dear to you?” Mariyam was listening to all this very attentively and every act she had committed with the trees in her past started crossing her mind. She remembered that she had cut the trees only to take a piece of trunk for her science projects.

“I am sorry… I am really sorry Mr. Tree. Please forgive me. I will never do this again,” pleaded Mariyam realizing everything she had done was wrong. “That’s great if you realized your mistake girl but please don’t ever harm us. We may look like non-living things but actually we are living things and we also have feelings like you humans. The only thing is that we can’t speak for ourselves,” sobbed Mr. Tree. “It hurts when someone tries to cut us into pieces just for trunks or wood. You see, if you are going to decrease the number of trees in your environment, you, humans, are going to face a lot of serious problems like health problems and other environmental problems because there won’t be enough oxygen for you to breathe,” continued Mr. Tree. Mariyam was listening to him very carefully. Regret ran through her veins. “I promise you Mr. Tree; I will never harm any tree from now and I will also advise my friends to not to harm any tree and to take care of them instead” exclaimed Mariyam. “Thank you little girl ! I expected the same from you,” said Mr. Tree happily. He was very happy that Mariyam really valued her advice and even promised him not to repeat that mistake again.

On a spur of moment, Mariyam saw Amna coming towards her. “Done exploring Mary?” questioned Amna curiously. “Yeah, yeah, I am all done,” replied Mariyam smiling. As they both got on their cycles to leave for home, Mariyam turned back and saw Mr. Tree smiling, Mariyam also smiled and waved her hand to bid farewell  to Mr. Tree.

On the way back, Mariyam couldn’t stop thinking about Mr. Tree and all that had happened. She really wanted to show Mr. Tree that she was fulfilling her promise by taking care of the trees. Mariyam also bought some seeds from a nearby nursery and decided to plant it in the garden of her house. Later, Mariyam penned all this in her adventure diary.

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