The Tree and the Girl
Apr. 9th, 2009 at 1:07 PM
Once upon a time there was a tree. He was an old pine tree. He’d stood there in the forest for many, many years. He’d stood in the forest through fires and floods. He’d stood there in spring and in fall. He stood there in snow and when bear and rabbits went by. He’d been standing there when people passed him wearing skins and hunting the deer with bows and he stood there now watching people build a camp for children.
He watched with great curiosity. No one had ever stayed near him for very long and so he watched. When the camp was built and tents were all put up children started to play around him. He enjoyed this. Some of them hugged him. Some sniffed him and argued whether he smelled like vanilla or butterscotch. Some leaned against them while they read books. Some just curled up at his feet. He thought that was the best.
He wondered if Gaia watched these children the way she watched over him. Gaia sometimes came to visit with him and he thought he’d talk to her about the children next time she came. Or maybe he’d just give a passing jay a message to pass on. There didn’t seem to be any great hurry.
He stood at the edge of an area that they had talks around a fire circle. He didn’t like being so close to the fire but they controlled it carefully and he really didn’t like that they had cut down a lot of his friends to use for log benches but he thought the talks were interesting some of the time and just plain silly some times.
One day a group of children came to listen to a man. He said he was a missionary. He didn’t know what a missionary was. The tree instinctively didn’t like this man. He was dark in a way the tree couldn’t explain just that he was dark.
A small girl leaned against the tree and got her self cozy at his feet and the tree felt happy. This little girl had chosen him all week to lean against and he had watched her go through camp. She was always humming and singing. He’d noticed she liked to sing a song called “This is my Father’s World.” He wished he could tell her it was really her Mother’s World not a Father’s World.
He hadn’t been really listening until the little girl started to push herself into his bark. He started to listen and then he started to get angry. He heard the missionary say that the world was evil. He heard the man stay that it wasn’t the Father’s world it was Satan’s world and that the world was a terrible and bad place and he saw the little girl cringe and he knew he had to do something. He gathered himself together. He wanted to speak to the little girl but how? He finally decided he would try and talk to her the way he talked to Gaia. So he thought, “HE LIES!”
The little girl looked startled and turned around to study the tree and she nodded at the tree. She leaned back against the tree and he knew some how that she no longer believed the man. She left the camp a day later and he thought he saw her again many years later but he wasn’t sure. She had grown and stretched up a lot taller but she sat against him with a smile during the night’s campfire program.
The tree never knew that that day everything had changed for that little girl. She had heard the tree. And later when she heard about Gaia she knew what she heard was true. And she always remembered the tree and thought of him fondly once in a while sometimes even when writing stories.