The Tree
The Tree tree stories

stradella Community member
Autoplay OFF   •   7 months ago
The tree remembers its long life and its end.

The Tree

The tree remembered being planted in the churchyard those many summers ago.

For he saw the young daughter of the squire slipping in that new book on 'Pride and Prejudice' to while away the sermon.

This blissful rural scene was oblivious to the battles being fought on land and sea to defeat the tyrant Napoleon.

The tree recalled also the parishioners chattering excitedly over a war far away over whether humans could own humans; trees never own each other more than they can own God's sunlight.

He then lived many summers and slept for many winters before Johnny, the blacksmith's boy, proud in his khaki uniform marched off to France.

A few months later, his family came weeping to the yard even though Johnny had no grave there.

It seems hardly any summers at all after the Great War, that his branches were swept back by a gaudily painted plane sprouting smoke flew overhead with another firing in pursuit.

Now he saw the night sky filled with new stars, all talking to each other as they silently rotated above.

More recently, he was overjoyed when a young family came to stay in the disused church which had been converted to a house.

They played in his shadow and touched his bark in games.

And so, he felt the pain even more as the chainsaw cut into his flesh to make way for another room for cars, games and fitness machines.

But, through it all, he knew sorrow for humans who neither live for summer or sleep in winter but destroy or are destroyed in every season.

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