“And these,” Miss Claire, the history teacher, said pointing at a big painting on the wall, “are the trees. In that corner, you can see a three-dimensional model.”
Some kids rushed to the corner to see how a real tree would have looked.
“Miss, what did the trees do?” Reema asked pushing up her glasses.
“They gave Oxygen-” The teacher started.
“Oxygen? You mean like our cylinders? They look heavy,” Ria asked, her eyes wide with apprehension.
“How did people carry them?” Atul piped.
“Nobody carried anything,” the teacher explained, “the trees grew on the land, and they released oxygen in the air. It was the time when people inhaled oxygen directly from the air.”
“No way. Wouldn’t they fall ill?”
“ My mom wouldn’t have liked it,” Lata said, touching the oxygen plug on her stubby nose. “We buy only Proxy brand oxygen.”
The teacher sighed, but she continued as she caught Ria’s expectant gaze. “They didn’t consider that oxygen impure. They were used to it. In the ancient period, kids played on the trees. The trees even provided food to the people.”
She pointed to the fruits on the tree. “People ate those things,” she checked the card on the model and added, “coconuts, they were called.”
“How did it fit into their mouth?” Sam asked. Used to eating small pills for food, he couldn’t comprehend how the ancient people could eat such big coconuts.
“They cut it into small pieces,” Miss Claire said, “it also contained some water inside.”
“Life must be so difficult back then.” Lata said, swinging her ponytails.
Nitin stood staring at the picture, and the model for some time. Then, he said, “they look cool. It must be fun to swing on those branches. I wish, we still had trees.”
“Me too.” Ria said.
The entire class of first grade students agreed that they would have loved it, if the earth still had any trees in 4015.