Wednesday, August 28, 2013

There Is No Tree

The author Eh Htoo Say on the right, and classmate
K'Baw Wah on the left.
      Two boys sit on a field. One of their names is Jack, and the other is Zoe. They are very poor, but they are satisfied to be farmers. They are very helpful to each other. There is a mountain around them and a hut made by bamboo beside the mountain. There is a tree covering the hut. As Jack and Zoe sit on the field, they are talking about their future. Jack says, "One day if I'm a rich man, I will marry with a nurse. After that, if I had children, I would take them to school. I want them to take book and pencil to earn money to survive. I don't want their lives to be like mine. I want them to get enough affection from me. So i will start to try my best. I won't give up." 
     Zoe said, "I don't want to marry because nowadays most of the girls are not modest, hospitable, and patient. Most girls are only playful and don't take life seriously. 
      "Jack! Do you know what kind of thing I want to do?" I want to be a useful person for everyone who lives all over the world. Not only for people, but also for animals. You know Jack, there are no trees around us, so we must do something. I will plant trees and protect the Earth. My thoughts are not for myself... They are for my generation.
     "Okay! Get married and birth your children, Jack! Then I will teach them how to protect the world." Zoe was exhausted when he thought about that. He shouted and wept.
     When he shouted, he saw there were many birds flying in the sky, trying to find the place to relax. He thought, "I am also like them, there is no situation for me. The birds are looking for the trees to relax in, but there is no tree around us."
     The birds were singing a song...
               Ji... Ji... Ji... 
               Where we have to live
               There is no tree 
               To relax and eat
               We are hopeless and we are weak
               No one can plant the trees
               So we are hungry

Eh Htoo Say is a Karen migrant studying in Thoo Mweh Khee Senior College. She first ran away from home at six years old because although her parents wanted her to stay to work on the farm, she felt she had to follow her dreams, and believed she would need an education to be able to help her people in the ways that she aspired to. She has left her family's Buddhist faith, but remains deeply spiritual. She hopes to return to her village as the first nurse in the area and/or become an activist for the protection of the Earth.