• emmabriedis

The Tree Story

Updated: Dec 12, 2018

The wind rustled the branches, making them creak and sway in the wind. All around the air was filled with rain drops as above the sky growled with ferocity. Though she clung to the bough with all her might, the gale would not recede in its onslaught. She began to weaken, and despite her effort, she fell—but the wind caught her, and away she blew on the gusts of the storm, only to fall amidst the grasses of a lush green meadow.

The small brown acorn was but a spot amidst the grass that surrounded it. Beautiful daisies spread their wide faces toward the bright sun as lupines rose high.

Soon, she began to sprout, her roots sinking into the soft ground. As months became years, she grew up into a small sapling, with only a few branches to her name. But with each passing year, her boughs began to multiply, and she made a wide umbrella over the meadow.

It was a peaceful place, with gentle breezes that wafted the flower perfumes into the air. Not another tree could be seen for miles, but she quite liked it that way, as this meadow was hers to call home; and she protected it.

After a little while, a young boy and girl came to the meadow. The girl, being elder, had flowing blonde locks and rosy cheeks that spoke of her youth. She had a laugh that was bright and cheerful, and her two front teeth stuck out a little farther than the rest.

The boy, though younger, was full of energy, and would run laps around the tree while his friend picked some of the many flowers that grew there.

They would laugh together and race along the field but take breaks beneath the tree’s branches; she was happy to give them a canopy of shade. She loved to watch them play games and make flower crowns as they carved their names into her bark. Each night would come, and they would go away for a while, but it was never long before they returned, filled with energy to play all day once more.

But those times could not last forever. As the days became years, and the boy and girl came less and then eventually not at all. She waited for them, always welcoming, but never to receive.

She lost count of the years that she stood there—lost count of the winds and storms and the other trees that tried to take root but could never blossom. She wondered if she’d see more children, but none came, and she spent her days in a faint, drowsy bliss.

Dark days came, and with them, men, armed with saws and axes.

“One, two, three!” they would yell as they sought to cut into her bark. They would saw and saw, hit and hit, pain searing through her with each blow. She wanted to cry out, but could only hold her branches up high, and give them a covering from the sun’s piercing rays. But despite their efforts, the men could not cut through her skin, and after many months of agony, they gave up and threw their axes aside. She had sunk deep into the earth, her roots stretching to the very core of the earth, that no matter how many tools they used against her, they could not fell her.

As time passed, their marks would be worn and overgrown, leaving only scars in the places they had attacked. They looked as pitiful as the crude markings the boy and girl had made in her bark.

No man ever tried again to remove her from the meadow she oversaw. It was a sacred place, where lovers found a quiet kiss, and where children laughed, and dreamers slept. And she, the oak, faithfully watched over it, for as she gripped the earth through storms of men, and storms of the sky, she could not be swayed.

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