the inquisitive one

The inquisitive one went on a long run through a forest in Maryland. It ended up being a longer run than expected. The inquisitive one never started to feel tired, and so kept running and running and running and running.

At some point, the inquisitive one noticed that there were many colorful animals nearby. There were brightly colored birds and brightly colored frogs! The inquisitive one had never seen such animals in the Washington, DC, area before.

“How strange and wonderful!” thought the inquisitive one.

But what was even stranger and more wonderful was that all of the colorful birds were flying like crazy in the opposite direction, past the inquisitive one. The colorful frogs were likewise hopping like crazy past the inquisitive one.

“They must love exercise as much as I do!” thought the inquisitive one, happily.

But a few minutues later, the inquisitive one realized that the entire forest was on fire, all around, everywhere! The inquisitive one stopped running and just stood there panting, afraid and horrified.

“Oh no, I must’ve run all the way to the Amazon rainforest!” thought the inquisitive one.

The fire was brighter than the brightest color displayed by any of the birds or frogs. It was hot, and everywhere, and closing in on the path that the inquisitive one had run in on. A moment later, the inquisitive one was trapped!

Surrounded by encroaching flames and terrified, the inquisitive one started to cry. Many, many tears escaped from the inquisitive one’s eyes. So many saltwater tears flowed that streams and rivers formed, and, suddenly, the fire was mostly extinguished, and the air felt cooler.

Of course, the inquisitive one could not possibly have produced enough tears alone to make this happen. You see, people all around the world were also crying about the Amazon fires. So many tears escaped from eyes all around the world that many streams and rivers were forming in every nation. Fires died out. And the water levels of the oceans rose. And then, suddenly, major cities were flooding all over the world!

The inquisitive one was standing in a rising pool of water, in the middle of a burnt-up forest. There was no way to run back home—it would soon have to be a swim! The nearby trees were too burnt to climb! There were no pieces of driftwood to hold onto, because everything was charred and disintegrating in the rising water!

But then a very large, very colorful bird flew over and landed in the pool next to the inquisitive one.

“I know where a spaceship is,” said the bird. “It’s time to go home to our ancestors’ planet. Hop on!”

“You mean Proxima Centauri b?!” the inquisitive one gasped.

“Of course, silly!” said the bird.

So the inquisitive one hopped onto the bird’s back. The bird flew them to Antarctica, where a spaceship was waiting. (Luckily, the spaceship was heated, because the inquisitive one’s running outfit was completely inadequate for the weather at that point.) They got into the spaceship and flew up, up, up: above the clouds. But at that point, the spaceship jolted, and slowed, and stopped, midair. The bird gasped, staring at the spaceship’s instruments.

“Oh no!” cried the bird. “The ozone layer is so thick with pollutants that we can’t escape the earth’s atmosphere!”

“Oh no!” said the inquisitive one.

“Hold on tight! I’m going to fire up the extra-super-propulsion chemical jet-booster secret-formula flame rockets! Hopefully that will do the trick.”

The inquisitive one held on; but suddenly there was nothing to hold onto anymore. You see, all those fumes in the ozone blew up in a massive conflagration when they came into contact with the extra-super-propulsion chemical jet-booster secret-formula flame rockets. The entire sky lit on fire, all around the earth! And this giant fire-blanket fell straight down to the earth!

As a result, tons of ocean water evaporated. The water levels fell back to where they were that morning! However, all that fire caused the Amazon to start blazing again, at the same level of that morning!

Luckily, the inquisitive one and the bird were both wearing super-retardant proprietary explosion-proof reflective-haze non-un-dis-inflammable spacesuits, so they did not suffer at all when the spaceship blew up around them. The bird flew quickly down to catch the inquisitive one. And they flew to the nearest landmass that wasn’t on fire, which happened to be New Zealand.

“New Zealand is beautiful!” exclaimed the bird, as the inquisitive one climbed off. “I have always wanted to visit the ancestors’ home planet. But I think I’d like to stay here for a while before attempting to leave again. Would you like to stay here with me?”

“It is beautiful here!” agreed the inquisitive one. “But I prefer to live in the Washington, DC, area. Nice to meet you, cousin. Keep in touch!”

And the inquisitive one sailed home.