The rest of the orangutans are leaving. You can see the treetops shaking as they swing away in hope of safety. I feel a tap on my shoulder. It’s Rue. I can tell by her face that she wants us to leave too. I let her know that I’ll follow. I look deep into her worried eyes. It takes her a while but eventually she turns away and jumps as she swings across to the next tree. My heart drops as I see our beautiful child tightly clung to her back. When they both disappear out of sight, I look back out across the tree line. The large thud of a tree hitting the floor shakes the ground underneath.
Human greed. That’s something that needs to be destroyed, not the innocent lives of orangutans. I feel so useless because I can’t do anything so save these homes from destruction. As a father I feel like I should be doing something, but I just feel so helpless.
The humans and their machines are making their way towards me and my tree. My family’s tree. My daughter was meant to grow up here. She was meant to learn how to climb on this tree. She was meant to swing from tree to tree and feel like there was nothing that could stop her. She was meant to feel free.
I remember when I used to climb our tree to the very top and look out onto the ocean of green. The horizon always seemed like it was so far away, like it would be impossible to reach. But now when I look out, the furthest treetop isn’t all that far away.
It’s like the hairline of the forest is receding and its turning grey.
The thud of another tree hitting the ground, knocks me back into reality. I see the tree next to me shake as it gets chopped down. I lost track of time and didn’t realise how close the machines got. I quickly make my way down to the ground.
When I reach the ground, I see all the humans walking around. They don’t even notice me. Except this one guy. As soon as he saw me, he stopped working. He stared at me for a while with sadness in his eyes. But then someone called him, and he turned his head away. Before he got back to work, he looked back at me one last time. I could tell he felt guilty.
It took everything I had left to turn away. I started to climb again when I heard another tree being chopped down. I turned around to see our home crash to the floor in a heap. It felt like it was falling in slow motion. It was so painful. I continued my way up the tree and swung from branch to branch in the direction of my family. Making my way to “safety”.
“Stop cutting down so many trees. We are destroying homes. #Green Revolution.”