I flowed over another rock, and then went steadily downhill, bracing myself to meet the dam. My water went in, and I suddenly felt restricted. I tried to stop it, whatever was happening. This wasn’t new to me. But it was harder to face it every time, because I was scared of this artificial thing blocking my natural flow. Then, I was pulled out of the big artificial thing, and I wanted to rejoice, but I was just too tired to…
I’ve considered flooding the banks and changing course, but I don’t know if I should. My tributaries have told me stories of other rivers who flooded their banks. They killed everyone who was there. All those humans. And sometimes, I feel that they deserved it. Who asked them to destroy our freedom by putting a dam there, for their own purpose? And then I feel that I’m being selfish and I would be taking lives for my freedom. And they’ll keep building more dams. Is it really worth it? I don’t know.
But now, it’s too much to bear. There is a lot of pressure, and I miss my freedom. So I’m just going to do it. I’ve waited long enough. And I’d better do it quickly, before I change my mind. Today is the day.
OK, approaching the dam soon. I mustered all my strength and energy, and turned. It wasn’t as easy as it sounded. I kept going. There was no river bed here, so I couldn’t keep a straight path. I swept over a village, and I heard screams. Children were screaming for their parents, pets for their owners, and adults all over, trying to take everyone and go before it was too late. I felt a pang. Had I taken the right decision? I tried to go around the next village, but I took a few houses at the edge.
I felt very powerful, and very powerless at the same time. I felt evil and powerful, for destroying so many people at my mercy, the same people who had benefited from the dam. But I also felt powerless, because I had started something I couldn’t stop or control. I wished I hadn’t. Was this what I had wanted? I was free from the dam, though. With a bittersweet feeling, I moved on with life.
- Also read Nature’s Fury
The author was a few months short of 13 when she wrote this.