THE FAD­ING MAGIC OF THE JUN­GLES

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - LIFE - Sent By Va­jini Herat Gu­naratne

The river mur­murs qui­etly as she flows, her crys­tal wa­ters glis­ten­ing in the rays of the early morn­ing sun as she gen­tly me­an­ders through the reedy banks ef­fort­lessly.

It is turn­ing out to be an­other glo­ri­ous morn­ing. The for­est is alive. A star­tled cry of a lap­wing pierces through the dense cov­er­ing and then be­gins the chat­ter of the­mon­keys who are in­cred­i­bly en­er­getic even at this time of the day. They are ex­cel­lent ob­servers, al­ways on the watch, the first to alert other crea­tures of any­thing un­usual or dan­ger­ous, es­pe­cially the move­ments of the elusive leop­ard.

As Ken­neth An­der­son re­calls in his for­est ad­ven­tures, mon­keys are in­deed extremely sharp crea­tures. From some­where in the deeps of the moun­tains a wind blows, bring­ing with it the sweet per­fume of a wild flower. The breeze is cool and re­fresh­ing as it whis­pers through the trees and sighs through the reeds, a mys­te­ri­ous trav­eller from the high moun­tains who con­tin­u­ously ro­mances with the for­est.

Guarded fiercely by moun­tains of breath­tak­ing al­ti­tude the for­est is sa­cred to all its crea­tures, to all its dwellers.

But to our un­grate­ful lot, it is onlya place that can ful­fill self­ish needs, a place where we can tear its giant trees apart, pol­lute its sweet wa­ters,and kill its won­der­fully bizarre crea­tures. A place we can con­quer.

As shards of sun­light break through the mist which be­gins to de­scend upon those great green moun­tains, the en­tire for­est shim­mers and glows. Into such a scene then ap­pears a tusker, so majestic, so re­gal, and its gait of one so proud. Alas, it is com­pletely un­aware of our ter­ri­ble kind, we who stalk these crea­tures, kill them for their ivory, for their meat, all the while de­stroy­ing their beau­ti­ful home.

As the sad truth sinks in, the for­est scene closes in on a lonely tusker en­joy­ing a heav­enly bath by the mur­mur­ing river which flows through that mag­i­cal for­est, all of which may very well be lost to us in the near fu­ture if we re­main com­pla­cent and in­dif­fer­ent to what is hap­pen­ing to our forests, to our an­i­mals, to our rivers, to our world.

Guarded fiercely by moun­tains of breath­tak­ing al­ti­tude the for­est is sa­cred to all its crea­tures, to all its dwellers

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