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A Fight for Survival

By Rosie A.
Michigan, Age 13

Naples News
Volume 11, Issue 6- May 16, 2008
A Fight for Survival

What had started off as a daring field trip to the Black Vine Swamp, soon turned into a devastating disaster. The Truman School had
planned a day at the Swamp to get the opportunity to absorb the nature. But when a forest fire broke out, all of the students evacuated. Upon retrieving a student’s medicine, Bunny Starch (Biology teacher of Truman School) heads straight back into the swamp, but does not return for days.
Two of her students, Nick and Marta, head out to find what has actually happened. They figure their fellow classmate, known as Smoke, has something to do with it because of his conspicuous reputation and since along with Ms. Starch, has not returned to school either. When they go back to the swamp to investigate, they run into some very jumpy people working in the swamp, which they later find out that those nervous people were hiding their illegal actions.
Getting Involved
They spend all of their spare time doing everything they can to find out this unforgettable mystery. They go as far as talking to Smoke’s dad, who has no idea of what is going on, and even helping Smoke run from the police after they are sure that Smoke has done nothing wrong. In the end, they were right, Smoke didn’t kidnap Ms. Starch. He was only helping her out in the deep confining of the swampy forest.
What Nick and Marta discover when they finally come across the hiding place of Smoke and Bunny Starch is that they have been taking care of a baby panther, who had been left alone by his mother. Those jumpy men had been oil digging in an illegal area and fired a gun shot to scare off all of the scarce panthers in the area. Upon doing so, the mother panther was overwhelmed, and had left her two babies in the clearing. Because they were so little however, only one had the strength to survive, but was running out of time to live, without the care of his mother, little could be done to keep the panther alive. Smoke, and Bunny Starch had been searching throughout the swamp, looking for panther scat so they could return the baby panther back to his awaiting mother.
Returning Heroes
Nick and Marta refuse to walk away, and help out in the search of survival. All turned out well, the baby panther returned to his mother and the illegal oil riggers were sent to jail. Nick, Marta, Smoke, and Ms. Starch return to Truman School as heroes, with a heroic story to be told to everyone.

The Florida Panther
The Florida Panther, is a very rare animal. Very few of these miraculous creatures are now living in the swamps and forests. It is a lucky opportunity to a person to actually see a panther. Very few people would actually do things intentionally to scare off these beautiful creatures, unlike the oil riggers in our story above.