My encounter with Demeter

By Lady Gayne Mantillas

Bats hang on trees on Dinagat to rest during daytime are critical for the ecosystem of the Island. Photo courtesy of Joseph Magana

As I was strolling the streets of Loreto, (Dinagat Islands) an army of flying foxes dashed across the crepuscular light of the sky. I wandered: what are they doing? just flying around?

On the swamp full of mangroves dwell these giant bats, estimated around 3,000, taking a chance I asked one who came near me. “What are you?” It shyly looked at me and hid his tiny face with its hairy wings.

I asked again. “What are you doing here? Are you just causing disturbance in the neighborhood?” What is your purpose? Are you all just as useless as me?”

I glared at him, left and murmured. As I was walking away a sharp voice stopped me. “We are Demeter. We have the power to control pests in your farms. We have the gift to pollinate. We have the power to dispense seeds everywhere.”

“We plant trees. By comparison, we plant more than you all do. We plant endlessly for all of you to eat. We do not cut trees and destroy the forests. Instead , we plant for all humankind to survive. We do this for you to consume and use as food.”

“Please consider us as useful as you are even if you are still young and finding your place under the sun. For we are as important as you are in this planet.”

Demeter is the goddess of agriculture and good harvest.

Editor’s note: This creative piece is written by a graduating student of Loreto National High School, Loreto, Dinagat Islands. She is an outstanding participant of the feature writing workshop for high schools, organized by Green Mindanao in partnership with Loreto National High School and Loreto Academy.

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