Thursday, February 1, 2007

A tree stands in a forest...

Standing on his own but surrounded by an entire forest, Jason the Oak Tree didn't have much to look forward to. He spent his mornings hoping for a visit from a squirrel or two, but they rarely came. He spent his afternoons trying to reach up for a feel of the sun on his leaves, but he was too short. He spent his evenings trying to whisper to the trees around him, but no-one ever whispered back. Jason spent sleepless nights wondering whether there was any meaning to it all and waited impatiently for dawn to come; not because he had anything to look forward to, but only because he wanted the empty nights to be over.

To his left was another oak tree, a few years older than him. His name was George. They didn't say very much to each other, the age gap meant they had very little in common. Sometimes George would ask Jason what time it was. Jason would look up at the leafy canopy above, trying to peek through the leaves of his elders to get a tiny glimpse of the sky. But even squinting wouldn't help him gauge the position of the sun. Jason would try very hard, hoping for a breeze that would ruffle the leaves and give him a beacon of light. But this wouldn't happen very often, and when it did, Jason usually noticed too late. He spent most of his time looking down at the soil, trying to make friends with an earthworm or bug. Even they weren't interested in him.

One grey morning when Jason was fast asleep, having stayed awake until dawn trying to get the attention of some owls, a loud mechanical roar woke him obnoxiously from his slumber. He tried to make out where the cacophony was coming from but it seemed to be seeping into the forest from all around him. Jason looked around; the trees around him all shared his confusion. Still, not many took notice of him. With a worried look, Lucy, a slightly older tree, asked him, "What's going on?” her leaves moving in a ripple as she turned to talk to him. Before he could get a single syllable out, she had turned again, creating a slight breeze as she did so. A fresh aroma from Lucy's pine cones washed over Jason. He breathed in her scent, wishing he has been brave enough to talk to her first. Then he realized this would have been futile anyway.

The thundering roar got louder and louder, and Jason could feel his very roots shudder with the vibration of the approaching monster. He closed his eyes; Jason wasn't very brave. The noise got louder and louder, until he was sure he had gone deaf. After a few minutes the noise was gone. He was sure he had been killed.

Cautiously, he opened his eyes. "Heaven is dustier than I thought," he mused to himself. He could hear some voices in the distance but his vision was still blurred. The voices started to get nearer, the language indecipherable. "I guess they speak a different language in heaven," he said to himself, this time out loud.

One of the voices got quite close. He could now make out what it was saying. It spoke quickly, responding to another voice. He squinted, trying to see more clearly. There were no trees around him. He must have been the only one to make it to heaven, he thought.

It was then that Jason heard the voice again, loud and clear. "Looks like we missed one." He felt a prod at his base, a poke at his bark.
"Should we do away with this one too?" a second voice asked the first. There was a slight pause, followed by another prod, this time to one of his roots.
Then the first voice spoke up again, "He was a lucky one. I guess we can spare him."

The two voices moved away, getting further and further until Jason couldn't hear them anymore.

He was left standing on his own.

No comments:

Post a Comment