Why My Life is the Lorax

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Once upon a time there was a volunteer. His name was Samba and he came to live in the Mortoki Forest. He loved to walk amidst the trees marveling at their whimsically wispy willowing branches with their six-inch thorns and strange date-like fruits. He never ate the fruits for he thought they tasted like wood…

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As he walked to the farm each morning he began to notice stumps. The more he explored, the more stumps he saw. Mortoki trees cut down for their precious thorny branches. The Pulaar factories were in the business making fences. “Why, we have to protect our Gawri fields!” they’d cry.

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More and more trees were cut down each day. What was once a forest became a desert today. Where will all the animals live if the Mortoki goes away? “I must tell someone,” Samba thought, “this is not the way!”

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Samba goes to his friend’s house. It’s been a long day. What he learns is his friend is Eaux et Foret! Amadou says, “it is I, the Lorax, who protects the trees. Should you cut one down, you must answer to me! If I catch you I will give you a fee- for that’s how I shall save the Mortoki!”

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Amadou Ka is my village counterpart in Goudoude Diobe. He is also a wonderful human being, the kind that deserves the world. He volunteered to become an Eaux et Foret Agent, an unpaid position in Senegal, because he alone understands the intrinsic value of the forest. He has the power to fine individuals who are caught cutting down live trees. “People won’t cut down the trees as long as they know I’m here,” he said. In a sort of twisted parallel, he is the Lorax of Goudoude.

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