The Last Chimpanzee
We have watched them cut down our forests, destroy our homes. They know they should not do it. They know they should be trying to help. But they aren't. They know about us. They call us the closest relative to human kind. What they don't know is that we know. We're here. We understand.
It was alright when my mother was with me. But she disappeared when the men came. And she wasn't the only one. They destroyed our quiet lives, and sent awful noises through our jungle home. There is hardly any of the jungle left now. It used to stretch for many miles, and be home to thousands of creatures, but when the fires came, and the saws, they disappeared.
Ever since my mother died I've had to fend for myself . I have watched as my home has shrunk around me. I have watched other creatures die. And now it's just me in this tree. There are a few other tall trees clustered around me, but in front of me is a black barren land, the mark of the last fire. Behind me, is my flooded home. Broken sticks float in the water. Animals that will never breathe again crouch in the water-logged trees. To my side, is a road, noisy and dirty, through which huge loud things pelt at unbelievable speeds. The city is just beyond, grey and ugly. And as I sit here, in this tree, I know I am all alone.
Loud voices are suddenly nearing.
A group of young male humans are coming closer. I watch them as they pile some sticks up and light a small fire. They dance around it, laughing. Another voice - that of a grown male human - begins shouting.
What are you doing with that fire? Put it out - now! Don't you know this is the only remaining rainforest in the world? Put it out!
The young males hurriedly stamp the fire out . As they leave, I wonder whether the glow amidst the charred sticks and white ashes is still meant to be there. I turn to watch them as they disappear into the city. Once they are out of sight, I turn back, but I only see a huge orange flame, that is spreading and burning the patch of remaining trees where I live.
I must escape. I cannot go to the water - I do not like it, and I do not want to go to the black land beyond where there is no shelter. The only place to go is the horrible, loud city, otherwise I will get eaten up by the ravenous flames.
The huge shiny contraptions are blaring past, and very quickly I dart across the road. There are no trees here. No one seems to have noticed my home slowly burning, prey to the vicious orange flames.
Suddenly, shouting and cheering nears me. Two men holding a large banner are marching down the street. One of them is shouting.
The last chimpanzee! Come and see the last chimpanzee!
And for the first time I notice, on the shoulders of men marching behind them, a huge iron cage.
Crouched inside the cage is a lump of black fur. It turns towards me. I look at it, and our eyes meet. Familiar eyes stare into my own. It is the first of my kind that I have seen since the great fire, when most of the forest was destroyed, and the rest of my kin disappeared. We stare at each other. I can tell that this one is older than me, for it has a darker face. It looks at me, with such sad eyes.
Suddenly screams shoot through the air like a gun crack .
Fire! Fire! It's coming this way! Run! Men are shouting, females are screaming and protecting their young. Then I see the flames.
They advance towards me, a young black-haired stooped creature who nobody notices. Towers of red, orange and yellow. Plumes of grey and blue smoke. They lick at the spindly trees lining the streets and dance around the puddles . Sparks fly out. Horrible flames. The things that ate my family, my home, and then my hiding place - if only they would shrink, sink into the ground, give up...But they keep on raging.
The parade has stopped and the men holding the banner have fled. The men supporting the iron cage let it fall. Orange flames eat it up, and here they come, for me....
But the smoke is clearing. I see the cage has broken open. The old, black-haired creature is curled in a sad lump. Slowly, I make my way towards her. She looks up. Such familiar eyes. She leads me away, and I follow her, trusting her as my mother. Then I notice the flames and the screaming humans have disappeared. Without a word, I understand what she is trying to tell me. We must find trees, find a new life, away from humans and fires.
We move on. Past the charred streets, the spindly trees, the road. No loud, fast contraptions destroy the silence now. We go past the ruin that was, until this morning, my home. We will try to find a new place, a better one. But with the humans cutting down the trees, bringing noise, fire and destruction wherever they go - will we find anywhere? We do not know.