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The Porcupine's Quill:  A Satire Column
by Arshad M. Khan
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the satire column
Porcupine's Quill
January 5, 2020


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.

What happened?

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 ...