Ruth heard a terrible racket as she stepped down from the expedition bus onto Acara Street, still muddy from one of Gurupa’s morning downpours. She heard a terrible racket and looked across the street to where a scruffy-looking black dog was attacking a peacock. The peacock’s cries sounded like ten children hollering ‘ow! ow!’ at the top of their voices. The dog’s low, guttural growls were quiet by comparison, and yet more terrifying. Beautiful feathers were being pulled out and scattered about the street in a profusion of iridescent color as the poor bird tried vainly to escape the mongrel’s ferocious attack.
Ruth dropped her backpack and ran screaming towards the melee. “Stop, stop! Get away!” she shouted at the dog. It wasn’t until she managed to swat the mutt with her oversized handbag that the dog jumped back and scampered away, a large, fan-shaped feather hanging from its jaws. “Bad dog!”
Ruth bent over and put her hands out towards the frantic peacock, “Here, you poor thing. Let me see.”
The peacock was still turning in circles, but when it saw the large, white woman with her broad-brimmed straw hat draped with mosquito netting leaning towards it, another series of ‘ows!’ reverberated down the empty street and the peacock took off after them.
Did the peacock know something we don't? Read the full story under My Writings to the right.
Gurupa is an actual place along the Amazon River in Brazil. Everything else in this story is fiction. What is fact is that between May 2002 and May 2003, Brazil lost more than 24,000 square kilometers of forest - an area larger than Israel and since 1978, over 500,000 square kilometers of Amazon rainforest have been destroyed. Why is Brazil losing so much forest? What can be done to slow deforestation?