Apr 5, 2005
Q. You have a red jar of cedar chips. Why do moths miss the forest?
The little girl in the purple plastic dress clutches the red jar, its lid extravagantly open. Inside, the cedar chips her mother bequeathed her. She sniffs the earthy fragrance—yet again—and wonders if you can smell the smell right out of those bits of ancient wood. She walks slowly through the historical markers. The Great Sequoia Forest, once home to 37 species of moth, 23 species of fern, and two of poison oak. She imagines the immensity of the trees—some as old as 3,000 years and as high and wide as highways. Now, only markers. Only holographic images for educational display, with a few actual moths preserved under acrylic, and security alarms all around to protect them from theft. She wonders if the moths miss the forest. Shaking her head, she closes the lid of the jar and flutters away.