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OUT OF A FOREST CLEARING by Randall Beth Platt


An Environmental Fable

by Randall Beth Platt

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-936784-89-X

 Animals of the Pacific Northwest unite to close down a nuclear submarine facility in this simple-minded, if politically correct, Dr. Dolittle-style fable--by the author of The Four Arrows Fe-As-Ko (1991). The time has come for all good creatures to come to the aid of Mother Earth, and so the spirit of the extinct Irish Elk, Athanasy, calls to order a Great Council of living animals to combat the potentially lethal operation of Oregon's Ageon Nuclear Submarine Base. Whether eager to participate or reluctant to leave their ordinary lives, each creature called--including Lordjahn the Condor, Moko the Buffalo, Iscariot the human-tamed raccoon, and the clever butterfly, Chanta--makes his way to the sacred Council Ground on the appointed day to submit himself to Athanasy's bidding. Aided by a fortuitous encounter with reclusive ``man- cousin'' Charles Sayble and his lowly pet dog, Fetchit-5, the animals warn the facility's directors and the local press that disaster will come if the submarine base continues to operate. When their warnings are ignored (and, in fact, Sayble is committed to a mental institution from which his animal friends must spring him), the creatures try deserting the area species by species, until all that remains in the coastal area are human warmongers, tourists, and reporters. Still, the Pentagon refuses to read nature's omens of doom, and Athanasy loses patience--initiating a temper tantrum in the facility's parking lot that brings forth thunder, hail, and finally an earthquake and the very catastrophe the creatures warned against. The moral of this tale? Never anger an Irish Elk, one supposes. Inane fantasy--Dolittle would be appalled.