Dialogue Prompt – Apologize to the Tree

Writing Prompt

We have a give and take relationship with plants. They give us oxygen to breath and we return carbon dioxide to them. Just as we must not let the plants die out or we will run out of air, neither should we lower the amount of carbon dioxide in the air too much or the plants will run out.

I am not a scientist, so I don’t know all the ins and outs of it, but I at least know that much. Our relationship is dependent on both of us existing and surviving. Yes, animals also emit carbon dioxide, but the point remains that carbon dioxide is needed for our survival if we want the plants to keep producing the life sustaining oxygen we need.

That, of course, is not the point of this prompt. The speaker was slinging a pretty hard burn at whomever they were talking to. We don’t know if this is coming out of left field for the hearer, if it’s a conversation that is a daily occurrence, or something somewhere in between. What ever it is, something triggered the comment.

In my mind I see a battle field. I’m not sure why, but that’s what I see, two people who have just survived a long tiring battle and the hearer made some sort of extremely stupid mistake that almost got them killed. The speaker, despite their words, didn’t want to see them or anyone else killed and found a way to save them and now that the battle is over they are letting off steam, purely annoyed at what happened, but at the same time relieved that everything worked out.

Does anything come to your mind with this prompt? Who do you see the speaker and the hearer as? What is their relationship? Do they even have one prior to this conversation? Are they friends? Enemies? Strangers? And do you think the speaker is right? Should the hearer apologize to a tree? Obviously, unless they are in a magical fantasy world where such a thing is possible, there is no way to find a specific tree that is providing them with oxygen and there is no single tree producing oxygen just for them. They could still apologize to a tree. Should they?

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