Never underestimate a turtle.
"These people, they are ruining our land," said Skunk. "I can no longer find tasty lizards or moles to eat. The people have scared them all away. What shall we do?"
The other animals, all gathered together, thought and thought, but they had no good ideas.
Day by day, and every day all season long, the people came marching past on the trail. Their big feet raised clouds of dust that choked all the animals, and the noise of their tramping annoyed them as well.
"I know," said Ant. "We will sneak up on them at night and pull out their leg hairs. When they wake up without fur they will become frightened and run home, leaving us in peace."
The animals discussed this, and then they thought about it, but they were not sure that the people valued their leg hairs so much.
Then Moth told them a story about seeing the people using their great flat paws to swat with, and how they killed many members of the Fly Family, and then the animals all became afraid again.
Next, Bunny Rabbit cleared his throat to speak. He looked like he had a good idea, so all the animals turned to listen. But Bob Cat came up behind Bunny Rabbit and ate him.
"Hey, I was hungry," said Bob Cat. "We have been here all day and I was hungry. Gimme a break, OK?"
Some of the animals nodded and sighed.
Some moved far away from Bob Cat, in case he wanted dessert.
Some of the other large animals ate some of the other small ones, without even making excuses. A few of them belched and licked their whiskers.
"This meeting is not going well", said Turtle. "We must have order, or else we are all lost. We must save our home from these people who constantly walk through it, carrying their giant backpacks and trampling everything. We must have a business plan."
Suddenly all the animals became silent.
They remained motionless, staring at Turtle. They realized that Turtle, whom they had always regarded as just a rock with legs, was on to something.
"This is the only good idea I have heard all day," said Weasel. "It is a start. I can help. My MBA will finally pay off, I think. I will save our home with a clever business plan."
"No, wait," said Crow. "A plan is good, but we must remain flexible. We can outline a business plan, but the key is a killer business model. There is no need to go into debt. We do not need lawyers, or banks either. We can do this if we remain agile."
"Yes," said Spider, "we can weave a web. Then we will catch these people and bite them on the butt."
"Agreed," said Bat. "But better yet if they catch themselves in their own web. If they never suspect us, then they will not seek revenge."
The animals discussed this.
Then they acted.
First they designed a backpack with sparkly things on it, and the people were fascinated by it. It sold and sold.
They they branched out. Into titanium cookware, and synthetic fleece. The people became obsessed with shopping for toys and playing with them, and they nearly stopped backpacking.
The forest became civilized again.
Then the animals created waterproof/breathable clothing. The people bought into it.
Even though the laws of nature decreed that waterproof/breathable clothing was impossible, the people bought it, and raved about it. Endlessly.
The animals rolled on the ground, laughing all day. Right after counting their receipts.
The people were so stupid that many animals laughed themselves sick.
Before long, the animals became rich, and had money to open satellite stores in malls in every conceivable location.
Then they invented credit cards, the internet, and online shopping. This required superhighways and gigantic trucks whizzing every whichway, making deliveries. The superhighways went straight through the forests, and destroyed them all.
But the animals no longer cared. They were rich, and that counted for a lot.
Finally, the animals built a rocket ship and went away to someplace quiet, to savor their revenge and to retire in gated communities, with servants. Hey, they could afford it.
The people never caught on.
Not with so many cool toys and sparkly things to distract them.