Daddy Mountain – a short story about how we treat the world we live in…
I don’t know a lot about the environment; well not as much as I should, but I am trying to find out more so that our kids have a decent world left to live in (Trump aside). I entered a short story competition a few years ago, and I managed to place this little ditty in the top three. The brief was a kind of fairytale about climate change. I must have missed the memo about happy endings, but then the state of our Earth is no joke. In the words of The Manic Street Preacher’s, if we tolerate (or ignore) this, then our children will be next! I hope you like it (thank you for humoring me on a more personal and serious post, I’ll be back to being your funny girl about town forthwith)!
Before they called him Daddy Mountain, he was simply, The Giant.
The world was cold and dark and as much as the children looked at him for help they were afraid, and left The Giant alone to do Giant things. One day a little girl stumbled across his gigantic toes and smiled and waved, for she did not know of The Giant and could see no reason to be frightened. When the children saw that The Giant and the little girl were friends, they flocked around to play, and he became known as Daddy Mountain.
Daddy Mountain was good and kind and took all the children of the world into his care. When they were cold, he huddled them close and kept them warm. When they were hungry he breathed magical vapors which gave them fuel to cook their food. When they were thirsty he would shed tears of happiness that he could help, and they drank to their heart’s content. The children and Daddy Mountain lived for many years, a content and sufficient existence. The birds sang, the sun shone and the wind blew gently through the trees.
But one day things started to change. The children began to get greedier. They wanted more food, more water, more warmth. Daddy Mountain worked hard and gave them everything he had. But still they took more. He began to grow weaker. His sparkly eyes began to fade and his once strong arms hung limply at his side. But still the children took more.
The little girl tried to tell the children of the world to stop, but they would not. They no longer knew what they needed and Daddy Mountain worked hard to give them what they thought they wanted. Little by little the birds stopped singing, the air grew cold and the wanting-world of theirs stopped turning.
Alone, the girl huddled within his breast. A dewy droplet, the first and last tear of sadness rolled down his sunken cheek, and his rheumy eyes closed goodnight as the sunshine dipped one last time.