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The Porcupine's Quill: A Satire Column
by Arshad M. Khan
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the satire column
January 5, 2020
ANIMALS PERISH IN WILDFIRES
News Item: Thousands of animals have perished in the out-of-control wildfires in New
South Wales, Australia.
It was awful. I couldn't breathe.
How did you get away?
I am just a little koala. I would have died like most of my kin. I was just lucky.
A passing kangaroo bounding along gave me a ride. I clung on to his back and we
You were lucky. You know a billion animals are estimated to have lost their lives in
our forest fires this year.
I know I'm lucky. I, like my fellow koalas, eat eucalyptus trees and live in them. It's
safer up high. Do you know what happens to eucalyptus trees in a fire?
No, what happens?
My mother told me. They explode due to all the oil in them. I got out of there fast,
and a young girl took pity on me with my singed paws and fur. I am truly living off the
kindness of strangers.
So, you are a literary koala.
What do you mean?
Never mind. I am really sorry for what's happened.
You ought to be. Humans are a major cause. Not the nice girl who helped me but
the human way of life.
Yes, I agree. Of course, there are some powerful jerks in Australia and elsewhere
who refuse to believe it despite all the scientific evidence.
Does it mean we will have more forest fires?
I am afraid it does. But soon it is going to change the lives of humans in a bad way,
unless they change themselves in a good way.
I hope so. I don't want to go through another forest fire ...