The Angry Dune

The Angry Dune

Dormant for years, little disturbed the sand dune. The brisk wind from the north would sometimes smooth its sharp ridge. The western and easterly winds would reshape it. The southern wind seemed to make the dune angry. Ridges would form and the ridge would remain sharp as if an angry monster were getting ready to attack.

The surface of the dune from afar always seems smooth, but looking with intent, a few pests can sometimes breach its serene skin. A kangaroo rat jumping around, trying to avoid the scorching heat as the sun nearly turns the surface to glass. One of the biggest disturbances of the dune skin is the sidewinder snake. Its complex movements scars the gritty surface with a trail that mimics the dunes themselves.

Together, these creatures are just part of what wrinkles the skin of the otherwise youthful dune. It angers the dune, but little can be done, especially when it is time for the hunt. The sidewinder finds the kangaroo rat's burrow. Hiding out will provide it with the ultimate surprise attack. It is only a matter of time.

The rodent returns so it can sleep. As it approaches, it notices something may be wrong. A slight change in fragrance. Some of the sand has shifted oddly. Something is wrong. To be safe, it shuffles to away from the burrow a little and uses its hind legs to create a drumming sound in the sand.

The sidewinder is disturbed. Yes, it could be the rat returning and trying to scare it. It could also be a predator. The sidewinder peaks its head out from the burrow to survey the landscape. No predators to be seen, but that doesn't mean they aren't there. From the sidewinder's viewpoint, the rat is not to be seen. How hungry is the snake? That is the question it must answer. Is it worth the risk?

If the rat knows of the snake's presence, it will be a much harder kill. Better to be safe today. There will be other meals without the risk. The snake slithers carefully out of the rat's home. Still, the dune grows angry.

If only it could rid itself of these pests. It hasn't stretched in ages. Perhaps a good stretch would evict the troublemakers. The dune begins shifting back and forth trying to stretch itself. It has been so long. The dune was so weak. Still, stretch it must. The burrows that covered the dune now shook, the snakes and other creatures run, hop, slither, and fly to other destinations. The mighty dune they have known as their home is awake. It is alive. It is ready for them to be gone. As the dune stands upright, loose sand falls to the ground, taking many trespassers with it.

The dune shakes its body as a dog shakes after a bath. Its skin pushes remaining parasites off of it and the dune bellows a roar that vibrates down its body so intensely that anything else attached to it must loosen its grip and fall to its fate.

The dune, now exhausted, looks around at the chaos it created. Creatures around it scared, some of them angry, and others bewildered. The dune must now sleep. With a heavy crash, the dune collapses. Sand rushing away from the impact, creating a wall so thick that sunlight couldn't penetrate. The creatures look at one another as if wondering what to do now. The kangaroo rat, avoiding certain death already twice today, starts creating a new burrow in the dune. The others do the same, returning to their normal lives.


This is tagged as a "short story for kids". Find out why by clicking here.