Gecko ForestExplorers
Only after the last tree has been cut down;
Only after the last fish has been caught;
Only after the last river has been poisoned;
Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten.
- Cree Indian Prophecy

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The Gripping Cold Hands

I yelled. And I woke up to see daylight.

It all began on my trip to Maliau Basin. At one of the camp, I was given a bed facing the staircase. I slept with my legs pointing toward the staircase. Chinese believes only the dead had their legs facing the doorway. This was practiced where coffins were placed with the legs facing the doorway.

I was awoken early in the morning as the other group of hikers were chatting and joking. Cool atmosphere and on a cozy bed, deep in the rainforest, I naturally dozed off again.

Then strangely a malnutrition-thin cool hand came through my sleeping bag. It was a friendly hand searching for warm. Slowly it began to hug my warm body. I felt the coolness of its hand. I grasped and held on its wrist. It struggled to get off my grip. I could felt its poorly fed wrist. I held tight. My hands were stronger. Then suddenly it turned aggressive. Probably I held on too tight and that might hurt. The other cold hand (probably its left hand) reached over trying to strangle me. It acted very fast. Pressing hard on my chest with all its might. I was suffocating. I couldn’t breathe. That gave me a fright! I yelled! I was awoken!

1. That yell was heard by Pipit who slept on my left on a different bed.

2. Whether you believe it or not, my friend Jungle shifted his position with his head facing the doorway.


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