Let There Be Peat - by Carrie O'Leary

“Bogglings, arise!” roared Snagbert, “It’s time to come out of hiding and take action against those pesky humans.”

Slowly creatures pulled themselves from their peat hags. Some bore shiny green scales with thick mossy protrusions sprouting from their bodies. Most had dull and flaky scales, their mosses withered and wilting.

“They’ve drained our bogs,” continued Snagbert, “Stolen our peat. It’s killing our race. Look what happened to young Tarnok’s family!” He pulled a weeping boggbrat to his side. “Their home trampled by a herd of marauding deer—may they rest in peat. All because the humans drained our bogs to make grazing for their sheep.”

“I do like a nice bit of mutton though,” said Mudlarp, the matriarch of the clan.

“But not when it’s to the detriment of the peat hags,” said Snagbert. “The occasional sheep falling into the bog was all well and good, but an entire herd trampling our homes is too much to bear.”

“There ain’t no Sundew Fizz,” squeaked a boggbrat.

Snagbert nodded sagely. “Our peat is too dry to sustain the sundew plant, so there are no more fizzy treats for the boggbrats.”

“We don’t get no golden plover eggs no more either,” came a voice from the back of the crowd.

“The cotton grass is dying too,” said Mudlarp. “We’ll barely harvest enough cotton this year to weave new clothes for the clan and the reeds are too brittle to make furniture.”

“Our boggbrats’ health fails because the peat pollutes the air with carbon now instead of containing it. Our water is no longer filtered by the peat.” Snagbert paused. “We need balance. It takes years to replace just a thin layer of peat. At the rate things are going, we’ll be homeless. Our whole species could even die out.”

There were murmurs amongst the clan.

“The humans also suffer. Because the peat bogs have degraded so badly, their lowlands are flooding. The gases pollute their air too. For the sake of all life, we must act now.”

The bogglings screamed their approval. Waving tiny spears in the air, they cried, “To war!”