EARTH DAY

 

         

 

          My brother Christopher sighed happily, he loved the story and was never tired of hearing it.  It was the story about the first Earth Day.  That day was very important to everyone, but especially to Christopher since it was also his birthday.  This would be his seventh birthday.

          The whole school was assembled in the auditorium to hear Major Hallam, of the Science Institute, give his annual speech.


          "Earth Day celebration is an old custom started by people who were concerned about changes in atmospheric conditions," Major Hallam was saying.  "A long time ago when the Earth started to get sick, no one believed that Science could find a solution to the weather problems." 

 

          Everyone had been talking about Earth Day for weeks. The Science Institute was open for tours, and people were shown the wondrous inventions that controlled the weather.  Because this year was a "One Hundredth Year," the celebration would be bigger and better than ever.  The parties would go on longer and there would be more presents.  We listened in awe to Major Hallam. He was wearing his Science Institute uniform with the medals and ribbons, and looked very important.  The Major's speech was interrupted by a thin voice.

         "I remember the time when they were making this world."  We all turned to look at the man who had spoken.  He had a wizened face and spoke mournfully.  Major Hallam smiled and nodded.


          "This is Mr. Rastus" he said. " Mr. Rastus will be honoured at the celebration this year.  He is the only person alive who is old enough to remember the last Hundredth Year celebration.  On Earth Day, he will be one hundred and seven."   A general whispering broke out. We all stared at Mr. Rastus.  His name was in our history books.  I raised my hand.

         "Yes Eva.  What do you want to ask?" said Mrs. Blake.  Teachers were standing in the aisles to make sure that anyone who had questions could ask them.   I took a deep breath.

       "This question is for Mr. Rastus," I said.  "Is it true that every hundred years the celebration is so wonderful, and the people are so happy, that their houses rise up into the air?  Did that happen a hundred years ago?" 

The teacher kept smiling but Major Hallam's smile had disappeared, he was scowling at me. 
He drew himself up and in a terrifying voice said,

       "And who may I ask has been spreading that story?"  Mr. Rastus flung back his wispy head and shrieked with laughter. Then his face looked sad, 

       "Every hundred years the world must transform,"  he said, in a voice that seemed to echo.   The Major looked frightened.