A Tree, a Dog — and Death So Near

by marthastephens


MY FRIENDS, I want to hug my tree today, but I cannot. I loved my tree — did I ever tell you that? Or let me put it this way — we loved each other.

We had known each other, after all, for forty-six years. Now we’d had some little ups and down, nothing serious. I couldn’t grow any marigolds or petunias in the shadow of my tree, and sometimes I complained, but not often, because I loved my tree’s shadow, too.

We were always aware of each other. Certainly in summer. In summer my tree was always there for me, everywhere in the yard I turned, there was my tree. When I read at my dining room table and raised my head to the big windows, there was my tree.

My tree had been abused once quite seriously — before we knew each other. My tree grew near the street, under the power lines, and the evil power company had sheared off its head. It had literally removed a whole side of my tree’s crown. Yet my tree had not died; it had grown a new head out of its injured crown. The new head, though, had veered off to one side as it grew, so my tree had a gap, a vicious hole in the middle of its body. Yet as I have said, my tree was a loved tree, and it still had a gorgeous canopy, if a slightly interrupted one.

In summer this canopy cooled the whole yard and the front rooms of the house, and in winter we felt my tree stood a lonely guard over house and yard and took on itself the brunt of the ice and snow.

Then my tree died. Not a natural death, my friends — no, no. My tree was murdered — didn’t you hear?

I WILL TELL YOU MORE in a new post quite soon, my friends, about how this foul deed was accomplished — and how my dear doggie was also lost. You may expect to hear of a cruel construction company — and a tragic mistake!