The last tree standing – A story

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

 

I am the last tree standing

Like a sentry I guard this world

I still remember the day I sprouted

Two tiny leaves shyly peeped out

Fresh from the womb of Mother Earth

I looked around

There were many like me

Tiny saplings

All frail and flailing

The tall trees welcomed us

Into this magical world

Shading us from the harsh summer sun

Protecting us from rough winds

As we became older

Standing taller on our stalks

We became more

Aware of the world around us

The birds that rested with us

The squirrels that fed off us

The cat that slept on our branches

The bees that buzzed around us

But my favorite were the human kids

When they came to us

Climbing, giggling, laughing

I felt the happiest

The elders

Fell in a hush each time they came

Humans they said

Were not our friends

We were standing at a crossroad

With the human race

Why don’t they like us?

When I asked

They laughed at me

One of them said

It’s not that they don’t like us

They just don’t value us enough

Land, money, roads, development

Take precedence in their minds

What can we give them?

That’s more important than these

I pondered upon this

Many an eves

To me the human mind

Was a mystery

And then I met her

“Her” being a human girl

Dusky and lithe in long pigtails

She was different from the rest

There was calmness in her being

She watched every step she tread

Careful to not mistakenly

Squash an ant or trample a reed

Under her bare human feet

The first time she made her way to me

She patted, as if saying hello to me

Then gracefully she climbed aboard

And seated herself upon my fork

There she sat for very long

Mostly quiet

But sometimes breaking into a soft song

When she fell asleep

I made sure

I didn’t sway in the heavy breeze

As evening fell she left

I wondered when I would see her next

The next morning before the sun got harsh

She was again in our park

Climbing nimbly she took her place

And spent with me another day

Next day she was with me again

And next and next again and again

She always came alone

Often bringing a book along

Using my bark as a pillow

She laid reading

Sometimes dozing off as

My leaves fanned her

To sleep

We developed a bond

The girl and me

She softly whispered her secrets to me

Her hopes and dreams

She shared with me

There was no one at home

To listen to her

I became her friend

But what was really strange

It seemed she could hear me too

My questions about the human race

Were answered with patience and amazing  grace

“All this development and rat race

Will one day kill us” she wisely said

“Humans are not bad you see

Just confused about what life really means”

“And what does life mean” I curiously asked

“Life is a gift, a special treat, to absorb and understand all one sees

To do what one can for other beings,”

“For other beings?” I said

“Like you” she smiled delicately

“You give shelter, you give air

Firewood, fruits you always spare

You protect this earth

You my tree are life’s sentry”

Conversations like these we often had

Our days began to roll along

I don’t know for how long she would have come to me

This wise human child who befriended me

Maybe our game would have lasted forever maybe not

I will never find out

Because that day

While we sat talking – The girl and me

The bulldozers came in a throng

Their roaring noise disturbed our peace

Birds squawked and flew away

Before we knew what was going on

We heard the old Mango tree groan

He had been hit at the bark

The girl jumped off me with a start

She rushed to where the men stood

“Stop” she said

To the one in-charge

“Stop”! I beg you with all my heart “

But the men ignored the little child

The machines continued their noisy grind

Soon the elderly tree lay on the ground

Killing the saplings upon which he fell

The girl shouted, screamed and wailed

But nothing would halt the killing trail

When my turn to be mowed came

The girl flung her arms around me

“No” Not him, I won’t let him go

The men tried their best

To wrench her off

But there was godlike strength in her arms so frail

She stuck to me and sobbed away

As the trees around me fell

I wept too for my family and friends

I don’t know exactly when

Something hit the girl’s head

But even as she slumped and fell

Her arms didn’t leave my swell

Just before night-time came

A lot more humans made their way

To where the little girl lay

Men muttered and women wailed

“So brave” “so kind” they began to say

Photographs were clicked

And meetings were held

No one had the heart

To tear the girl and me apart

That is how it came to be

The girl was buried under me

And a lot of little saplings were sown

Around us

A boundary was made

A guard posted and a sign that read

“Vaishali national park”

Cause that was her name

The girl with pigtails

Who lost the battle and died

But in her death

She brought new life

The saplings are growing

Fast and tall

I guard them now

With my All

And when they ask me about the human race

I tell them her story

“Humans are brave” I say

The best kind of mates

They fight till death

To save a friend!

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21 Comments Add yours

  1. seena says:

    Beautiful words… and nice message.. reminded me of my childhood when a tree in our yard was my friend. But I am not brave and sweet like the girl, the tree was cut and our new home was built in its place. My grief at the loss of the friend was soon replaced by happiness of the new home. Now I feel guilty.

    1. don’t! It doesn’t take much to create fictional characters that are very brave and idealistic, real life is much more difficult. The fact that you love a tree is a good place to be 🙂 thanks for reading the rather long piece

  2. panchali says:

    Lovely…wishing new hopes new horizons…

    1. thanks panchali! new hopes are always worth wishing for 🙂

  3. Ankit Mahato says:

    So big .. so nice and so powerful .. standing ovation lady 🙂

    Also check out my entry
    http://ankitmahato.blogspot.in/2012/12/i-am-last-tree.html

    1. Thanks Ankit! read yours. very powerful! specially loved the last lines….. thanks for visiting

  4. lovely!lovely!!lovely!! I liked this optimistic take on prompt!

    1. thank you! Thank you! Thank you (ha! ha!) I am so glad you like it….

  5. I LOVE the title of your BLOG!!! LOVE IT!!! I will happily follow you!!!

    1. Awwww…. and I always think I have the most unimaginatively named blog! Am glad you like the title. hope you will grow to like the writing too. Welcome aboard! and many thanks

  6. Arindam says:

    Beautifully done! You told a great story in such a poetic way. Like it a lot. Great work once again. 🙂

    1. thanks Arindam! appreciate you taking out the time to read… you must be very busy with your book promotion 🙂

  7. amira says:

    Your words are so powerful. I can almost hear the tree itself speaking.
    captured the sentiments so very nicely.
    I feel for the tree. I feel for the little girl. And yes plants are to be cherished.
    The joy of seeing a new bloom, the shade and protection trees gives us …

    1. Thank you Amira – you’re always very encouraging. And yes i agree trees are to be cherished. There are some trees from my childhood that I remember even now and think about like i would about an old friend 🙂 Cheers and a happy new year

  8. nomad says:

    i cannot believe this! Incidentally your wrote it on my birthday!!!

    Loved your poem, maybe its a sign that things will change, when minds of many thinks alike 🙂

    PS: The mango tree was a bigger coincidence, i would like to think that i told the story of the mango tree in your poem 🙂

    1. Your birthday eh!!!! It just keeps getting stranger. Most of us are just armchair activists. At least I am. I won’t do anything to harm a tree but I won’t be brave like ur boy or my girl to die for it. I don’t think arm chair activists can change much. But still it shows that atleast some people r thinking abt it! Glad we met here 🙂

      1. lets hope that your girl inspires someone and a tree will be saved 🙂 Looking forward to read more from your blog

      2. I hope she will save not one but many trees!!! thanks 🙂

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