Singy and the Forest Fire

Long ago, before cities came up and people cut down trees, a little hummingbird, Singy, lived in the Daintree rainforest. Singy would always be the first to wake up in the morning, soaring high into the clouds to welcome the rising sun with her jovial song and chirps. Her family would later join her as they flew around the forest merrily, signing and calling the other animals to wake up and start their day. See, the Daintree Forest, back then, was full of life. The forest was uncorrupted, the trees uncut, the water clean, and the soil pure. All the animals lived happily, in unity, and peacefully. Food was plenty and clean, and the rain always came without fail. Everyone was happy, living and raising their babies and families in peace without interference from anyone. All the animals, both big and small, respected each other. The elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, deer, and gazelles would help the smaller animals like snails, snakes and birds forage for food and often carry them on their backs to the watering point in the evening. Daintree was indeed a utopic community, guided by their leader, the lion, who ensured that every animal got their fair share of the community’s resources, that was justice in the forest, and that the animals took care of their surroundings and the environment.

Everyone lived happily in Daintree for many years. Nothing changed except for the occasional conflicts and misunderstandings between the animals, which the Lion promptly handled. However, this small, happy community would see the worst in the coming years. Unknown to Singy and her friends, a new city was coming close to their home. A few miles south of Daintree, a colossal city was being built to host the tourists who came to tour the rainforest and see the animals who lived there. Singy was the first to notice the impending trouble. One day, Singy woke up early and began serenading the community with her morning songs. However, she noticed something out of the ordinary. Huge and strange animals were making their way into the forest, cutting trees along the way and digging up the earth. The strange animals were unlike anything that Singy had ever seen before. The yellow animals did not have legs as Singy had seen on other animals. On the contrary, they had metallic legs that lay flat on the earth and coiled around giant metals.

Singy was even more surprised to hear these animals’ loud roaring noise and see the enormous billows of smoke spewed into the air. A harrowing fear and foreboding instantly gripped the young hummingbird. She was convinced that nothing good would come out of this invasion as she flew frantically home to break the news to her family. Singy’s family was soon on their way to see for themselves and break the news to the other animals. Soon, every animal in the forest had heard the news. Everyone reacted differently to the news about the new animals plowing their way into Daintree’s heart. Some animals were excited to meet the new visitors, while others feared being run out of their homes. On the other hand, sly animals such as the foxes and hares were eager to meet the new visitors and possibly trade with them for any surprise goods they might have brought along. Singy and her family were scared about the new visitors, especially when their cousin Birdy recalled how they had destroyed forests in the south.

Soon, the yellow animals Singy first saw over a month ago reached the forest’s heart. Singy and the other animals were soon shocked to learn that human beings were controlling the animals. Now, humans were feared in the forest community. Humans left behind a trail of pollution everywhere they went, often littering the forest with plastics and other waste. Also, they were known to drive away animals from the forests to build houses and towns. Soon, Singy and her friends discovered that the humans and their machines had come to ruin their home. Trees were being felled day and night, then transported out of the forest in giant green animals that spewed smoke into the air. Every day, the forest grew smaller as the humans pushed the animals farther into the hills. There was nothing the animals could do, standing by helplessly as their home was torn to the ground and destroyed by the humans. Soon, vast chunks of the land lay bare, covered in stumps, a sad reminder of the majestic forest home to generations of animals. However, sadly, the forest’s problems were only beginning. One day, the humans disappeared unceremoniously, just as they had come to the forest months ago. Over half of the forest had disappeared, and thousands of homes were destroyed. The worst drought further worsened the situation in the forest that the community had ever witnessed. Rains failed for two seasons, and the temperatures rose to a record high. The community stood by helplessly as their once beautiful, tranquil home gradually turned into a desert. The once-happy forest had turned into a silent and sad place. Singy and her family no longer sang in the morning neither did the large animals carry the smaller animals to the river. Humans still came to the forest periodically and felled more trees.

One day, Singy woke up to strange to a cloud of smoke just after humans had shipped off more trees. Soon, the animals discovered that the forest was on fire. One of the humans must have started the fire as they left. Immediately, everyone was in a frenzy, running around in panic and fleeing for their lives. Singy and other birds soared into the air to survey the extent of the fire. Soon, all animals ran away from the fire into the hills, which were still far away from the fire. However, the wild forest fire was spreading rapidly, and as Singy predicted, the hills would catch fire within a few days. What would the animals do then? Where would they live? Would they survive the fire? Something had to be done immediately to save the forest. Singy was thinking fast as her family joined other birds flying in the increasingly darkening sky.

An idea soon came to Singy. What if each animal ran, fetched water, and helped extinguish the fire? What if all animals joined their efforts to fetch water in their mouths and trunks to extinguish the fire? Could they beat the fire? Singy chirped happily to her father with the idea. However, her father was dismissive, telling her that the fire was too big for the animals and that the best option was to flee. Singy, however, was not disappointed, nor did she give up. She flew all around, begging and pleading with the animals to accompany her to the river to fetch water. Sadly, all the animals were dismissive, as they had already lost hope. Singy then decided to fly to the river to fetch the little water she could using her beak. She flew as fast as she could, swooning down the river, taking a big gulp, and flying back to the fire to try to put it out. Soon, the news spread that Singy, the smallest hummingbird in the forest, was putting out the fire herself. The elephants and kangaroos were embarrassed and humiliated by the tiny bird. Within a few hours, more animals joined Singy on her daunting task, running to the river to fetch water in their trunks, pouches, fur, and mouths. Within a few days, the fire was extinguished. Everyone was happy and praised Singy for her bravery and dedication to saving their home. Months later, the rain came back, the trees grew back, and Daintree was once again the beautiful place it had always been. However, Singy and her friends were always afraid that the humans and their yellow and green some-spewing animals would soon return to the forest for more trees.

Singy’s story, albeit fictional, holds innumerable lessons for all of us today. To a considerable extent, Australia has one of the cleanest airs in the world. However, more than five thousand Australians lose their lives annually due to health conditions caused by air pollution (Australian Academy of Science, 2022). Australia’s population is growing exponentially. We are urbanizing our country, which has consequently increased our demand and consumption of fuel. We are increasingly cutting down trees to meet our home heating requirements, all closely linked to climate change. Sadly, we, like in Singy’s story, are the main enemies of our environment and sustainability. Notably, the situation looks grim, with experts predicting that the air quality in Australia will worsen and our climate change for the worst. According to the Australian Academy of Science (2022), if we do not reduce our emissions, it is anticipated that there will be significant growth of the summer smog in our air by 2030. Sadly, these changes will exacerbate the intensity of droughts in our country and increase particulate contamination due to frequent bushfires and dust storms. Admittedly, our current situation resembles that in the fictional Daintree Forest, where Singy and her friends lived. We are collectively setting our forest on fire, pushing ourselves further into the wilderness and uncertainty. Will we still have a home in the next thirty years? Will we leave our future generations a habitable country, or will they be born into a concrete jungle without fresh air and water?

Our collective actions have contributed to the current climate change facing Australia. How often have you thrown plastic litter haphazardly and maybe even in a waterway? Did you know that, according to (Galaiduk et al, 2020), plastic pollution is one of the most alarming threats to Australia’s environmental sustainability, causing extensive damage to the ecosystem, our economy, and our health? Additionally, did you know that today, approximately fifteen million tons of plastic waste are in our oceans? (Galaiduk et al, 2020). Sadly, you and I have played a role in polluting our oceans and waterways, threatening the existence of thousands of species and sea animals, all instrumental in maintaining our ecosystem balance. You might argue that you have not been to the beach this year and could not have polluted our oceans. I, too, have not seen the beach this year. However, by remaining silent and oblivious to pollution, we have allowed the environment to be polluted and its sustainability threatened. Therefore, this is a call to action that all of us, regardless of our positions or levels, take an active role in extinguishing the climate change fire that threatens our collective welfare. Every Australian has a fundamental role in stopping the wildfire spreading around our homes because of unsustainable urbanization, burning of fossil fuels, and environmental degradation.

We can start small to reverse the alarming climate change ravaging our country. You do not have to start an environmental movement or speak at the United Nations. On the contrary, you can start small by changing your habits which lead to environmental degradation and contribute to climate change. You can help extinguish the fire by disposing of your litter appropriately. Stop throwing candy wrappings haphazardly and into the wrong place. Create a recycling culture in your home. You could also change your energy consumption habits and switch off heaters and bulbs whenever not in use.

Furthermore, we all know that fossil fuels have been our country’s leading contributor to air pollution. Therefore, you must make the deliberate choice to use electric cars, which are more sustainable. Besides this, you should also take it up to yourself to create awareness for environmental conservation. I like to believe that all of you are active social media users. Undeniably, social media is a powerful tool that all of us can use to create more awareness of climate change and environmental degradation. Publicize your conservation story and efforts online, get your friends to talk about the environment, and educate them on how to reverse the effects of climate change in Australia. Participate in environmental conservation forums and actions and recruit your friends too. Remember, each one of us, irrespective of how insignificant we see ourselves, has the power to change our environment and reverse the alarming rate of climate change spreading in our country. Do not despise yourself or the power you have inside you. Like Singy, take up the mandate of protecting our environment and ensuring its sustainability. You do not have to wait for the masses to start acting to save our home. Identify a potential solution and start working towards harnessing your potential to ensure that future generations will look back and congratulate you for your bravery and selflessness in ensuring that they have a conducive and safe space to live.









Australian Academy of Science. (2019, July 19). Air pollution—what’s the situation? Curious.

Galaiduk, R., Lebreton, L., Techera, E., & Reisser, J. (2020). Transnational plastics: an Australian case for global action. Frontiers in Environmenta