The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Sound of the Forest

March 6, 2018

If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one to hear it, does it even make a sound?

The woman wondered this as she walked the trail, behind the neighborhood park. It was a crisp autumn afternoon, her favorite type of day. The kind of day where everything is quiet and tranquil, when the sun is shining and nothing can go wrong.

But that was not the case on this particular day. On this day, she was blissfully unaware of anything beyond her own little world. She liked to imagine the lives of the forest animals, how they gathered food and played with their young.

She loved the outdoors, but rarely got to escape into it given her busy work schedule. Whenever she got a pause in the calendar, she would break out of her brick and mortar prison of a townhouse and dive into nature wholeheartedly. Whether it was a local garden, or a nature trail in the mountains, she always took her time enjoying every moment submerged in mother nature’s child. To really feel at peace, she never allowed her technological world to interfere in these mini vacations; therefore, she left all devices in the console of her car.

Today, was one of these lucky days. She had been excited for weeks. Today, she would finally explore the nature trail right in her community, and maybe even meet some of the neighbors.

However, when she arrived at the park, hers was the only vehicle in the lot. Given it was a Tuesday and most adults were at work and children at school, she wasn’t surprised. This did not distress her, for it meant she could just enjoy her surroundings. So she set off into the woods with just her high spirits.

About an hour into the five-mile trail, she found herself wandering off course to observe the flora and fauna that was less tread by humans. One hour turned into two, and before she knew it, the sun was starting to sink.

Turning to leave, she realized she wasn’t entirely sure what direction to head in. With a good idea of direction and consistent high spirits, she decided on a way to travel. She figured no matter which way she walked, she would find civilization in no time. After all, she did live in suburban America; how much forest could there be?

To her surprise, by the time the sun had almost set, she had not found a single trance of humanity. How was that possible? she thought. She had been walking straight. Hadn’t she?

It was now quite dark, and while she wasn’t afraid, panic was beginning to find her. She quickened her pace, then quickened it further. Soon, she was practically sprinting through the dark forest. However, when the moon is the only light shining down through thick tree tops and sight is sparse, running is not the best idea, as she soon learned.

She had hardly gotten a hundred feet when she got her foot caught on a root. She met a rough fall, directly into a ravine. The poor woman’s head found contact with a boulder, and her shoulder met a sharp edge. Her body contorted, she shreiked in pain. Lying at the bottom of the ravine, screaming for help, she found her vision going blurry from the ache in her brain. The blood from the wounds on her head seeped down into her clothes. The taste of iron on her tongue made her sick.

Now drawing quick, exaggerated breaths, she tried one last time to call out in hope that someone, anyone, would hear her. She used her very last breath to muster up one final, weak scream, then spent her final moment pondering this thought:

If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one to hear it, does it even make a sound?

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