There Was a Tree

I felt the sun shining through my branches. It was warming the leaves. The change is about to begin again. I can feel the leaves thinning preparing to float down to the Earth. I could feel my roots soaking up the fresh rainwater that fell. There was no better time to be a tree. The kids climb me almost every day and, I get the joy of holding them in my branches. However today I noticed something strange. The children brought their father with them. They brought wood with them. If I could cry for my fallen brethren I would. It pains me to see my fellow trees reduced to just mere planks of wood. The father throws it down on the ground without a care about the lives lost. I can’t help but wonder what is about to happen. Am I to be made into planks of wood? To be processed and stained and thrown about in such a way. The father takes a plank of wood and places it across two sawhorses and, he begins cutting it in half. The sadness begins to fill me with so much pain. It hurts to watch this. Wait, it really hurts. He is actually stabbing my big beautiful trunk to add this slice of wood to me. He continues this about six times until there is a stair ladder running up my trunk and into my branches. I suppose I can accept this pain. The children will be able to use these stairs from my fallen brethren to climb and sit in my branches.

Wait, what do I see the father carrying now? His children are dancing around him with smiles on their faces. The father has sheets of wood now. He assembles some sort of a frame and is now coming towards me with it. I watch him as he lines it up just above the ladder he built. It surrounds me on all sides. I feel the renewed pain again as he hammers the frame onto my trunk.  I feel the weight of the frame on my trunk as pieces of my bark fall to the ground. The man is now hammering something into the frame itself. I feel some of the weight lifting. The father has given the frame legs. I appreciate this offer of mercy from the father. He has created a floor for the children to sit on. I am starting to realize that the children may never sit in my branches again. The father is putting up walls now, he is closing me in. One wall, then two, three, and four, I am surrounded by those that have come before me. Yet I cannot speak to them. You can’t speak to the dead. The father now adds a peak shaped roof with a slight opening on both sides. I again am grateful for this small act of mercy. I will still be able to feel the breeze on my trunk. The father tells the children that their “tree house” is done. They are screaming with excitement and start to climb the ladder to sit in their “new house”.  Three children fit into this house. They sit inside and lean against my trunk. I feel the warmth of them. I hear the children laugh and tell secrets. Perhaps this wasn’t an attack, perhaps this wasn’t an act of malice. As the children surround me, I am happy. This…this was an act of kindness. The children and I will be happy here. I am Happy here.

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