The tree dwellers were the first to notice.
They could smell it’s coming on the breeze.
The whisper went about, ‘Con, con, con’!
The word was passed on; flight became the order of the day.
The evacuation began. The tiny creatures that inhabited the depths of the trees hearing the call to flee knew they had to move. Past experience told them this was not something to ignore. Do so at your own demise.
The exodus was under way as the tree dwellers, the ones with wings, watched to the west, as the glow grew ever closer.
They swung from tree to tree urging haste, no time for dilly-dallying, it was now or never for some.
Possum mother and her young clinging to her back scurried down their tree and scampered across the ground only to be picked up by an eagle who at first saw dinner but then saw rescue as paramount. He flew the possum family to a safe place and looked back at the nearing glow.
The tree dwellers could by now hear the trees explode as the fire drew near, the heat and smoke now so intense they flew to safety sure they had moved everyone on.
The conflagration moved inexorably on, stripping and levelling everything in its path.
The next day a skeleton of what was once their home remained, smouldering in places but cooling and as time passed the first signs of regrowth felt strong enough to emerge.