Sunday, November 27, 2011

Warp and Weft

In a big city often covered in thick smog, there was once a family who owned a very large junkyard. The junkyard is full of rusted cars and trucks that were thrown away when their owners bought new automobiles. These cars will be then sold for scraps.

Alas! A time came when the junkyard hardly makes any money. The old cars that used to pile up in the vacant lot now directly goes to the factories that assembled them. Nobody wants to buy the land because of the ugliness of the place.

One day, Alfred, the owner of the junk yard called his 2 sons to talk.

“I am getting very old and weak.” Alfred said. “And the only treasure I will leave behind is this piece of land.” He paused, before looking at the dull landscape outside the window.

“I want you to tell me what do you plan to do with this junkyard when I’m gone?”

“Lets sell it,” Donnie, the older of Alfred’s two sons suggested. “And then when I get the money, I will start my own business!”

Donny is the older between the two brothers. He dreams of becoming a businessman someday. Since he was kid, he wanted to turn the junkyard into a toy factory.

“How about we plant trees instead, and let this junkyard turn into a small forest?” Miko said, shyly.

“Are you out of your mind?” Donny stared at Miko. “Selling this land means more money!”

“Look around you big brother.  When was the last time you saw a bird fly, or butterflies come to this place?” Alfred seemed to agree with his younger son. 

“I would like people to remember dad not as a junkyard man but someone who is friends with trees.” Donny laughed at his brother’s idea as if to mock him. Meanwhile, Alfred thought of dividing the land at once into two equal parts to keep the brothers from fighting it over.

“Have it your way Miko, but don’t come to me begging for money.” Donny said before storming out of the room.

The next week, Miko went to the mountains to buy saplings of trees that used to grow in his father’s land - before it became a junkyard. After all the remaining old cars were carted away, he planted Mahogany saplings, hoping it would grow despite the land being polluted with chemicals.

On some days, Alfred would watch as his younger son spend the whole day tending his growing garden, and smile. He can’t help but feel proud of his accomplishment. As a teacher, Miko would sometimes bring his students along to teach them the importance of taking care of the environment. 

The students would also bring tree saplings with them. Some even set free small birds and frogs they caught in other parts of the city. Though they were not sure if the animals would stay, they pressed on making sure the land becomes home to these small creatures.

Meanwhile, Donny’s business isn’t growing. The factory he built stayed small, and the children didn’t like the toys he made. He would sometimes look at the window and see a caterpillar crawling at the sill. He would brush aside what Miko told him when they were young boys, but his little brother’s words stayed inside his head.

“When was the last time you saw a bird fly, or butterflies come to this place?”

Years went by and the patch of greens finally got a life of its own. Butterflies and dragonflies flutter over some wild grass, while frogs leap on some small pond filled with rainwater. Children would sometimes sneak past the gate to pick flowers while old men, breathe fresh air - something they can’t even enjoy in their own homes.

“You were right all along, little brother.” Donny’s hair has now turned grey. His toy factory long abandoned, even the trees had taken over his part of the old junkyard.

“And I’m glad you returned.” Miko said smiling. His face now creased with age. “You should meet my grandson one of these days.”

The two brothers spent the whole morning sharing stories about their father, while outside, a flock of Cattle Egrets decided to stop by before their long journey heading to their new nesting grounds in the south.

Task: Tells of a family who planted trees and allowed ecological succession to take its natural course

Personal Notes: I just can't get over with my previous children's article that I had to write a rejoinder. It aims to uplift the somber mood pervading in that story. Like many struggling writers, my well of ideas get empty, and I find it difficult to treat a specific topic as well. To counter this malaise, (and to keep myself challenged) I started writing articles of different subjects set on a single setting.

Unfortunately, the Grade One kids won't get to read the Smog rejoinder. This article is meant for the batch ahead of them.


Nate said...

aww.. really nice rejoinder kuya.. :)

Anonymous said...

this gives me hope na there are still selfless people out there who deeply care for our dying Earth..ang galing mo talaga kuya mugen!


Nox said...


Mind if I'll link?

Pepe said...

and i would love to stay in little bro's house. this is inspiring Mugen!