When I look out my bedroom window, I see my overgrown hibiscus tree that has no describable shape, though at night it looks like a monster leaning over a bubbling cauldron.
On the tree there are little bugs I've never seen before some are like lady beetles but with rounder bodies and antennas. Another one is green, white and red that looks like sparkling wrapping paper, glittering in the sun. It used to scare me when I was young, I thought the monster would come and grab me and cut off my legs. Now that I'm older it doesn't scare me though it scares my sister. That helps me because then I can scare her by jumping out and screaming "Argggggggggh!".
One day after school I went home and said to mum, "I need a bug or beetle for science."
"Get one off your tree," she replied.
I went out and grabbed a jam jar and went outside. First I put three leaves into the jar for the bug to feed on. Then suddenly a black shape came out of the tree. I screamed, "Arggggggggh!"
"Don't scream," said a scratchy voice, which sounded rather like a nail scraping across sandpaper. "Just don't harm the trees," the voice continued. Then a thin, hunched, creature a witch, appeared and pulled back some branches to reveal a tree crying.
"Don't worry about a dumb tree. It's only one tree." screeched another witch with a high pitched squeal.
"This one tree," said the first witch "is very important. It blocks light to keep er, um.......... What's your name?"
"Jessica," I replied.
"I'm Amelia," said the first witch "and this,' she paused giving the other witch a glare that made her emerald green eyes go blood red, "is Susan!"
"Hi," I said akwardly. I could feel a tense vibe between the two witches.
"Anyway," Amelia continued " it blocks light in Summer, to keep Jessica nice and cool."
"May-be so" Susan argued," but I've picked a million leaves. Anyone for tea and batwings?" she asked sweetly.
Amelia screamed " How could you! I told you not to destroy nature and definitely not to kill animals for enjoyment."
I thought to myself, don't witches usually put those ingredients in their cauldrons?
"Nor me," Amelia said suddenly.
"Huh?" I questioned. "Did I miss something in my daydream?"
"No," Amelia whispered "I can read your thoughts. You look reliable," she continued "meet us here tomorrow."
Susan gave me bored look , then pointed a Amelia and pretended to yawn. I giggled. Susan and Amelia disappeared behind my tree. I selected my beetle, it was a mango orange colour, with red streaks and eyes that looked black and lonely.
That night I didn't get to bed until 9:00. I was reading a book called, 'Playing Beatie Bow". Even though the name Beatie is short for Beatrice, it made me think of beetle. I drifted off to sleep and began dreaming of sparkling beetles, that looked like wine glinting in the sun. I began to hear Susan's and Amelia's voices arguing once again about nature. I wondered what Amelia wanted as I drifted back to a trance like sleep.
When I woke up in the morning I heard the frogs croaking. They startled me at first, they sounded like a group of fog horns outside my window. I looked out, about twenty bright green frogs were jumping around the yard. I saw one on top of Susan's tall black, almost brown from mud, witches hat. I quickly dressed and raced outside. In front of me were two toddler sized toadstools, royal red in colour, with spots as white as flour. Amelia was standing in front of a blackboard, her straggly mud brown hair, full of knots as coarse as barbed wire. She gestured for Susan and I to sit down. We took a toadstool each, once we were settled, Amelia began to talk about the difference between the way we treat nature and the way we should treat it. She spoke about the greenhouse effect and ways we could prevent world disaster or at least be prepared for it.
"We could reduce the pollution in our air by planting trees to reduce the amount on carbon dioxide, which has doubled over the last one hundred years." She told us we should care for wild animals by leaving them and not aggravating them. We can save animals and even trees by recycling cans, paper and many other materials. We should put our rubbish into bins, not creeks as our creeks become horrible, filthy colours that make you sick.
We should also take poor, helpless, injured or abandoned animals to the vet, a local wild life expert or a witch with a degree in nature studies. Amelia looked as proud as a peacock when she said that.
Once the day was over, I felt like a whole new person. Amelia had helped me and I also think Susan came to know and like nature. That afternoon I decided I felt so moved that I would sign up for community service along the beach and for a local protest against the cutting of trees. My life was changed forever.
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Last updated - 26/6/2000