Winner

CATEGORY C : 18-24 YEARS
Day 1: Forest
26 December 2017

WINNER

My forest, my home (3rd Place)
Matdura Sivakumar

I woke up to the sound of my sister's sobs. Something I've been immune to for a few days now. I don't blame her, anyone who has lost their mother would do the same. Without food, without shelter, but mostly without her mother to comfort her. The memory of that unfortunate night is now deeply etched in my heart. I remember my mother crying out in pain and slowly bled to death. A large metal rod had pierced through her chest, at a place we once called our home. Our sanctuary.

Things have only gotten worse as the days went by. Slowly, most of our friends went missing. Sometimes, we see their motionless bodies lying in the bed of the forest, but at most times, there is just no more evidence as to their whereabouts. Our beautiful home, the place of my birth and happiness has now been replaced with different shades of greys. Some of them are coloured, there is red, blue and even yellow. But not green. The lush greenery that once filled the forest is no more. Now we are left with a small portion of the forest which lacks food supply and is not good enough to be our permanent place of shelter. My sister is now just a bag of bones and skin. Her once silky brown fur is tainted and dusty from the powdery grey substance used to make the tall grey 'trees'. Her brown shiny eyes have lost its glimmer and soon enough, I worry I will lose all of her.

We cannot live in the tall grey 'trees'. They leave me with mixed emotions. I stare at them in awe as I have never seen such a sight before. It also makes me sad as the more these 'trees' appear, the lesser my real trees become. These tall grey 'trees' are now home to humans. They seem happy to live in their 'trees', but I wish they were able to see how we felt about our homes disappearing too.

My sister now cried from hunger. My mother is not around to feed her, and the leaves on the trees are not enough to feed the both of us. The sun rose every morning and sets, leaving us with lesser hope each day. I am now too weak to move. I can barely feel my legs and I do not have the energy to look for food. I starved in pain and hunger daily until I could not feel anything anymore.

Before I breathed my last, I wished for a better life. I wished that every living thing deserved an equal treatment. The superiority of the human race shouldn't only benefit them, but to all creatures of God. I wished to see my home again, with all my monkey friends living in them. I hope someday, these wishes of mine will come true. I believe in change, I believe in happy endings

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Forest, The Home
Ho Kooi Chee

I’m John. I’m one of the large flying bird, the Hornbill. My partner, Mia and I like to fly in the high sky and scream out loud whenever we feel happy or excited. Two years ago, I was flying alone to search for my dinner. Suddenly, I heard a special call somewhere around me. I was totally attracted to this unique call. That day was the day I met Mia and I fell in love with her when I first saw her. She was so beautiful and different compared to the other birds. We were vocalizing to each other, and chasing each other until Mia accepted me as her life partner. Since then, we live together and fly together every single day. And one day, she got pregnant. I was so excited and I had no idea what’s the feeling of being a father. I knew that I need to find a home for both of us, a place for Mia to rest and give birth. Therefore, we flew around the forest to look for a suitable spot. Fortunately, we found a very tall tree with a tree hole. We constructed our nest together and I let Mia to stay inside the tree hole during her pregnancy period. I was responsible to find her some food every day. After a few days, Mia laid two eggs in the nest. We were so excited and couldn’t wait to see our babies. The eggs finally hatched after 45 days and I couldn’t hold my excitement anymore. Mia decided to fly out from the tree holes as she wanted to help me in searching the food. Therefore, we left our babies in the tree holes during the day. But one day, when we wanted to fly back to the tree holes to feed our babies, we couldn’t find our home! Our home is gone, our babies are gone! We couldn’t find our babies and we had no idea where to find them. Mia cried and collapsed. We were so sad and we couldn’t hold the sadness deep in our hearts. Our home was destroyed by the species so called human. They cut down all the trees for their wealth. They destroyed our home and killed our babies just because of their greed. I was so angry but I couldn’t do anything except crying loudly. Mia and I were so sad and depressed. We left our lost home. We flew to somewhere else to start a new life but we still missed our babies. We know we will never see them anymore. And the forest, our home is gone.