As the sun hit the feathery, white snow, it made a glistening faint sparkle in its flakes. She breathed in the glorious crisp tang in the air and walked to an unknown path and danced to the musical sounds of the forest.

She looked up to the singing birds and fluttering of their delicate wings as they flew around in glee and made calm melodies, leading the sounds like an orchestra. After restless prancing, she remained breathless and dropped to her knees on the cold snow-coated ground. Suddenly, an injured fox, struggling to sprint in front of her, left traces of its crimson-red fur on the snow.

She quietly followed, watching every careful step until she reached a lake with shining waters, surrounded by blossoms and large trees-rich with leaves and orchids hanging above. She saw the frightened fox resting near. She was fascinated by how radiant and beautiful it was. How could a part of this forest be so flourishing and alive at this time of year, with this frigid weather, she thought.

She brushed away the thought and slowly approached the fox. She put out her hand to pet it and gasped as she saw the throbbing wound on its legs. She looked around for something that could help the creature, but was startled with a loud, deafening bang. She rushed back to see if the fox was still there. She saw it laying lifelessly on the ground with a bullet in its flesh. Only if it ran away instead. She looked to find whoever committed such a monstrous act, but to no avail. She walked to the corpse of the red fox and woefully stroked its fur. She got up and went to wash away the tears from her face, but the lake water began to freeze under her. The large, voluminous trees were turning coal-black and its leaves snapped off the branches.

The fragrant blossoms were quickly decaying and diffusing putrid fumes. She was terrified by the sight and ran away in horror as the forest crumbled and deteriorated behind her. The very air she breathed was out to kill her. After every gasp, the piercing cold air stung her lungs. She felt as if the friendly forest was turning against her and was deeply saddened that she wouldn’t be able to enjoy it again. She has always loved this delightful world, but soon, it may fade away like the weeping fox and the shimmering lake.


Hatan Al Habeshi

Photo: Roberto Marchegiani