Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Trees (12/05/05)
TITLE: A Deciduous Dilemma
By Kenn Allan
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From seeds the breeze had sown,
There grew a broad and stately tree;
Its species quite unknown.
Winter, summer, fall, and spring,
It reached for distant skies,
And drove its mighty roots down deep,
To maximize its size.
One spring day (or was it fall?),
The tree began to ponder,
"Should I remain upon this hill,
"Or pull up roots and wander?"
"For all the good I might have done,
"And deeds I might do still,
"Might never happen if I stay,
"Alone upon this hill."
Just then, a passing raven heard
The tree's forlorn lament,
With feathers flying everywhere,
He swooped in wild descent.
For ravens prey upon the dead,
And feast on broken dreams,
They seldom pass upon the chance,
To hatch their wily schemes.
He'd never known a tree to walk,
The best he could recall,
So it would be an awesome sight,
To watch the timber fall.
“Poor tree,” he squawked in raucous tones,
Perched high upon a branch,
“Methinks perhaps it’s best ye go;
“Don’t miss this splendid chance!”
“To travel ‘round from shore to sky,
“Would surely be a thrill,
“So rip thy roots out of the earth,
“And leave this blasted hill!”
The tree considered with delight,
How different life would be,
To grow upon a mountaintop,
Or gaze upon the sea.
But could it really walk the earth?
So, with the raven’s urging,
It pulled and tugged upon its roots;
The sap within it surging.
When from the meadow flew a dove,
Who sensed some trouble brewing,
She landed on the writhing root,
And cooed, “What are you doing?”
"You cannot live on mountain peaks,
"Your roots would starve in stone,
"And seacoast sand is far too loose,
"In which to make your home."
“Your place is here, atop this hill,
“To move would be absurd!“
“Abandon all these fruitless dreams,
“Hatched by that awful bird!”
The raven tossed a haughty sniff,
“How dare you interfere!
“If this brave tree would rather go,
“It's cruel to keep it here.”
"For all the good it might have done,
"And deeds it might do still,
"Will never happen if it stays,
"Alone upon this hill."
Trees are not too smart, you see,
In fact, they're rather dense,
So what he heard the raven quote,
Made quite a lot of sense.
"Thank you, Raven," said the tree,
"For stating how I feel,
"And how I must enhance my days,
"To heighten their appeal."
"The seasons pass, I'm growing old,
"But not appreciated,
"It's time I move to greener grass,
"And leave this hill vacated."
The dove sat thinking long and hard,
With furrowed feathered brow,
She must convince the tree to stay,
But wasn't sure quite how.
Then, like a bolt out of the blue,
Her strategy unfolded,
She pecked the tree hard on its root,
"Now listen here!" she scolded.
"Next spring, what shelter will we use,
"To hide from April showers?
"Whose arms will hold the soil in place,
"For budding springtime flowers?"
"In summertime when children romp,
"With laughter, games, and singing,
"Where will they eat their picnic lunch,
"Or hang their tires for swinging?"
"When autumn leaves begin to fall,
"And skies turn steely gray,
"Where will the squirrels hide their nuts,
"When you have gone away?"
"The winter snow and icy winds,
"Make flying quite unpleasing,
"But where will all the birds repose,
"To keep their feet from freezing?"
"When you were planted on this hill,
"God did so with good reason,
"Without your knowledge, you have helped,
"A soul in every season."
"But all the good already done,
"And deeds you might do still,
"Will be forgotten or ignored,
"If you leave your special hill."
"I shall remain here at your side,
"Should other doubts arise,
"To help you see the things you do,
"Or quell the raven's lies."
"Oh, I give up!" The raven fled,
Regretting ever fought her,
(Last I heard, that dirty bird,
Was coaxing fish from water).
And in the meadow, since that day,
Upon the chosen hill,
There stands a proud and stately tree,
Content to do God’s will.
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