Volcano And The End

He was hands-on. Digging away! He didn’t care for broken nails or dirty fingers. He just kept at it. Dig. Dig. Dig!

As nature took its course and overpowered his enthusiastic endeavour, he felt a tinge of pain in his fingers. And the thumping pain grew, slowly and steadily.

But the pain couldn’t cower the child’s motivation. He rummaged through the dried grass and the dirt to find a sharp stone.

Hard blows! One thump. Two thumps. Three thumps and on and on. The Earth cried silently, but the child didn’t hear or feel the pain of the soil. He kept on the violent act.

The topsoil yielded. Scared if she didn’t, the boy would continue the torture. The boy put his fingers through the hole to find the elusive prize but had barely covered much ground.

So, he searched again. This time, he found a stick. And he poked. Poke. Poke. Poke. The stabs got harsher, but the boy didn’t relent. By now, the ground was soar and wounded. She whispered a prayer, “Please, little boy. Not more!” But the boy remained oblivious to the ground’s plea. He continued to rain torture.

With sweat pouring like rain, his body was as hot as coal. Skin as red as cherry, the child collapsed and began howling in exhaustion.

The soil heard the boy’s cries and put her pain aside. She nestled the boy, tilting. Oh, so slightly. She let the grass brush his skin as if to pacify him. The boy felt a warmth surround him. And he began to pacify. 

At that very moment, the boy’s elder sister peeked out the door. She was glad to find her brother miserable. His dirty face was plastered with tear lines. His white shirt was now off-white and muddy.

She couldn’t stop giggling. She skipped in merriment while she ran up to her brother and asked, “Hey, Toma, why are you crying? Don’t worry about the dirt. One bath and it will all be gone. So, tell me, why the tears?

Toma said, “You said you planted that coin Papa gave you so that she would grow into a tree of coins. I wanted your coin. I dug and dug, but I can’t find it buried anywhere! Where did you bury it, Mona?

Well, you tried to take what isn’t yours, Toma,” said Mona, having the last word in a war of sibling drama. Shaking her head in disapproval Mona continued, “And that is why you couldn’t find it. You have messed up the garden. Do you know the soil that you are sitting on can feel pain too? That is a very bad thing to do, Toma.”  

She turned and started walking away from her brother. Then an afterthought made her return to her her brother, “Oh, listen! I never buried it, silly. I have it right on me!” Saying so, Mona took the coin out of the silver pouch she carried. She smiled like the empress who had won the world and walked back home with her head held high!

Annoyed, that his sister had had the last laugh and she still continued to own that prized coin, Toma stared back at his sister. Losing hurts. But losing to a sibling seems like the end of the world! And Toma felt just that! In frustration, he kicked his feet! Each kick brought a wave of agony to the Earth. The Earth shook at the boy’s self-centeredness but the boy didn’t care.

This is not fair, Mona!” Cried, Toma. “I won’t let you win!

Laughing at her mischief, Mona danced on the porch, celebrating. She shouted loudly, “I am the champion, my bro. La! La!! La!!!

Toma, too upset with his sister, kicked the Earth again. Crying, he tore the grass and uprooted small plants. The Earth protested the child’s vagaries. But Toma wouldn’t listen. She begged him to stop, but the boy didn’t.

Hysteric, he threw more stones and crushed the tiny vegetation that grew on the soil and thumped his way back to his house.

The trampled soil cried in anger. The ache of the torture throbbed from her surface to the core. The insensitivity of the child peeved her. But the Earth, in its motherly love still gave the boy a chance. She thought if she allowed the grass to tickle him, Toma would calm down. But Toma grew angrier.

The Earth remembered how mankind had ignored her pleas for thousands of years. People had stabbed and kicked and hurt her relentlessly. Some were kind to her and tilled the land with the right tools. They watered her and loved her. Some even prayed to her. But the number of such individuals was dwindling every day.

The Earth had tried her best to communicate with Toma but the boy just wasn’t hearing her. He was destroying the vegetation, killing the little helpless beings that lived in the soil. Toma’s craziness was just the last straw. The Earth decided to take the matter into her hands and took a human form, hoping the child would finally hear her pleas.

The boy was so consumed by his rage that he didn’t absorb the magic! A beautiful lady had conjured out of nowhere. He kept crying and hurting nature. The Earth knew she would have to do something to stop the boy before things went south. Because the earth knew her fury. If she lost it, the world or at least a part of it would be destroyed!

She took Toma’s face into her hands looked deep into his eyes and said, “Boy, stop hurting the plants, the little beings and the soil. They are crying in pain and asking you to stop. Listen to me, please stop!

Toma struggled free from the Earth’s grasp and said, “I don’t care. I hate my sister. I hate my dad for giving her a coin. I hate everyone.” He pulled at the Earth’s hand and bit her hard and ran away saying, “And I don’t talk to strangers!

The unruly child’s fit was the last straw! She had tried. She had taken the human form many times to communicate with mankind. But like Toma, no one ever cared for nature. They plundered and exploited the land, its produce and its natural resources. Man only took. Man only hurt!

How long could the Earth remain patient? How long could she allow other living beings to suffer at the hands of man? Toma was just a kid, but he was like the many men she knew. The more she thought, the angrier Earth got. And she quaked. Cracks began appearing near the hole Toma had dug. And then Earth’s anger burst out in the form of scorching lava from the epicentre Toma had dug up!

Gurgling with fury, she went on and on till Toma’s house and the neighbouring area were all turned into ashes.

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