Two Trees, by Nancy Thomas
On occasion, it is my honor to read someone’s work and be asked to edit it and make suggestions. This was the case with the following story. It is meant as a children tale, but there may be much more there than meets the eye. It is so good that I thought that I would share it with everyone, with her permission of course.
On a hill, in a meadow for sale, was an unusual pair of trees. One was an oak and the other was a pine tree. They grew up together and were the best of friends.
In the afternoon they soaked up the sunshine content without saying a word but in the cool evening breeze they liked to talk to each other. Best of all were the rainy and windy days where they had the chance to dance. It was fair to say they enjoyed each other’s company.
That summer a work crew came to clear the meadow and trim Oaks’ branches. “This is why I like pine trees best.” said one of the men. “They grow straight and tall, keep their color year round and you don’t have to rake any leaves in the fall. Now that’s a tree really worth its roots!” The other man agreed.
Pine Tree stood up straight and proud and rattled his needles in the twilight breeze. They did not say much that evening, Oak felt bad.
As the chill of autumn set in, Pine noticed some yellow and red among Oaks’ leaves. “Here we go again, wild colors and then dull, bare branches.” More time passed as Oak revealed its’ brilliant colors.
Soon after, a couple stopped by the meadow to take some pictures. “Oh how beautiful. This oak is so bright and colorful; much nicer than the boring green of the pine tree all year.” The man turned to the woman, “Don’t you love the smell of leaves in the fall?” She felt the same way he did.
Oak rustled its’ leaves, spread its’ graceful limbs and beamed. “Humpf’ said Pine.
The next month was rainy and windy, but the two did not dance. “Oh you are shedding your dirty leaves all over me!” opined Pine. “Well if your branches weren’t so heavy with ugly sharp needles they wouldn’t catch them!” snapped Oak. The winter was very cold and silent as the snow set in.
Springtime brought new leaves for Oak and new needles for Pine. With the new growth came some robins looking for a place to nest.
“Make your home with me,” said Oak. “I will give you fresh new leaves for your nest.”
“No I’m the better tree!” said Pine. “My straight sturdy branches are already full of good needles, easier to weave into a proper nest.”
“No I’m better, your needles are all sticky!” said Oak.
“No, choose me, Oaks’ leaves will dry faster and become brittle,” said Pine.
“Oh my feathers and beak!” said one of the robins. “I think we will go somewhere more friendly.” The silence of the winter carried on through spring.
Then one day a man and woman stopped by the meadow and took down the for sale sign. “This is where we should plant our garden dear,” said the woman. “All summer these trees will have a variety of greens and texture together. Then in the autumn, the bright red of the oak will blaze against the deep green of the pine. In the wintertime, the twisting bare branches of the oak will frame the its mate. No matter what time of year they will compliment each other, yet each by itself would not be as beautiful. The perfect pair to protect all the flowers we will grow.” The man nodded his head in agreement.
“Oh my,” rattled Pine.
“Dear me,” rustled Oak.
The next day the wind blew and rain began to fall from a warm summer storm. Shyly Oak asked. “Would you like to dance?”
“I would be honored...” said Pine.