Natural Friends

If left alone nature gets along.

I’ve been around for about three hundred years, a tree of long
standing and seen many changes. I’m still here but in completely
different surroundings. I was born deep in a forest surrounded by
many saplings and older trees, unfortunately most of my neighbours
have disappeared and in their place is a vast complex of houses. I
would have joined them if it hadn’t been for two loyal friends, a fox
and a dog.

I got myself acquainted with these two scoundrels on the same night
they met each other, when both were strolling through the forest.
The two immediately became friends and when I made myself
known, we quickly became a threesome. They would come to visit
my area of the wood most late nights, a warm friendship developed,
my knowledge and experience entertained them, whereas their
frolics and adventures amused me. Times just continued to flow
along in a normal natural way as they do in nature if left to their own

But then one sad day, it was noticed that the forest trees had been
marked with large X’s apart from a few on the outside of clusters.
Unfortunately, a large X appeared on me. We all knew what this
meant, many species of birds had told of X,s like these appearing in
other parts.

Waiting for the heavy machinery to come was like the worst feeling,
and the thought of the monster machines hacking off branches with
mechanical saws and then ripping up the rest of the tree roots from
the established fertile ground, was enough to make the older trees
wilt. Far worse than the harshness of the weather we had to combat
over the generations, in fact most of these conditions were to our
liking, the howling wind winds occasionally took some of our
branches, but we would usually recover from most onslaughts. The
blankets of freezing snow that covered our branches, melting into
the slush soft soil of our roots, was often welcomed because this was
destiny and accepted.

After the X appeared on me, I had to let my two friends know that I
would shortly be leaving them.

“We’re not going to let that happen,” said the fox.

“We certainly aren’t “barked back the dog.

“We’ve got a plan, we’ve used it before, we cannot save all the trees,
but hopefully can save you” said the fox.

Over the next few nights the large X on me began to dissolve and
eventually disappeared. I didn’t quite know what was happening, all I
could say was the weather was fine, but I could feel a gently warmish
liquid flowing over the X, as my two little scoundrel friends
scampered up and down me.

To be continued….

Jim Mallin

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