The Oak Tree

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
This story is also a metaphore of how parents can stunt the growth of their children and do permanent damage to them. Only people like the little girl would love these damagaed people. It is a personal story of how I was treated and how I will some day burn out.

Submitted: April 13, 2013

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Submitted: April 13, 2013

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THE OAK TREE

Shirley Davis

 

The acorn lay beneath the thin layer of soil, which sheltered him from the cold winter wind and waited excitedly for the warm spring sun to free him.  It was so good to be alive!  He felt great gratitude for the squirrel, which had buried him there, and comfort in knowing the animal had long forgotten where he had stashed this morsel of food.  The acorn thought of how good it would be to burst through the soil and rise up his leaves into the beautiful sunshine.  Soon the time he had been waiting for arrived and he felt the urge to grow spawned by the growing warmth of the earth around him. 

Something was very wrong.  He fought and fought, grew and grew but only met more soil.  After many days, which is a long time as counted by seedlings, the acorn struggled to break free only to meet with great disappointment.  Perhaps, thought he, there is no such thing as the sun, but I have only dreamed of it and I am struggling in vain.  Every instinct within him told him of the great warm orb, which would give him life so, he continued to fight.

One day a thought occurred to him, could he be growing the wrong direction?  Immediately he began to grow the opposite and soon burst out of the earth into the open air.  As the acorn unfurled his leaves he realized that no bright sunlight could reach him for above him his parent tree hung in dark shadows robbing him of the life-giving rays.

The seedling was determined to stay alive and though he was weak he reveled in the feel of the warm breeze on his stem and the sounds of life all around him.  The shade of the parent tree was dark indeed and caused the seedling to e vulnerable.  He grew slowly and was attacked by insects, choking plants, and disease, which the small oak met with bravery and overcame.

One day a man came to the forest looking for wood for his fire.  He chopped down the parent tree.  The burst of sunlight, which followed, renewed the spirit of the seedling and he reached for the sky.  The disease and insects had taken their toll and he found it impossible to grow straight because of the damage to his small trunk.He began to twist upwards making himself look strange but achieving his aim in the end. 

One winter an ice storm caused the tree to shiver in it's dormancy.  The ice broke off all but one branch but he struggled valiantly to recover and by spring he was able to put out enough leaves to remain alive. 

Year after year the tree grew replacing its fallen branches with new.  Each fall and winter brought killer ice and frost, each summer drought and heat.  Each season would cause the tree to droop in despair.  Just when he would feel he would have to give in and die spring would return with its warm life giving rains and so the oat would live.

In the tenth summer of the tree's life a small girl came into the forest.  She sat below the oak tree boughs and sang as she played with her dolls.  The girl loved the tree with its strange twisted trunk and relished its sheltering shade.  Day after day she would sit beneath her tree talking to it as a friend loving it as only a child can with simple words of her hearts caress.

The oak loved the little girl growing his branches longer her favorite spot.

One summer night a terrible storm raged from the sky sending torrents of rain and tremendous claps of rolling thunder.  The tree was blown horribly to and fro in the violent winds.  Suddenly a lightening bolt struck hit the oak splitting his twisted trunk setting it afire.  As the flames began to consume him he reached once more for the sky.  He felt great sorrow at having to leave the little girl but he had fought as hard as hard as he could to live and now his time to die had come.  He breathed a great breath of the humid night air savoring it wishing life had been different.  As the fire consumed him he gave a sigh and died.

The following day the rain had gone and the little girl ran into the forest.  Sobbing the girl sat upon the remains of the great oaks burned trunk.  She held her face in her hands and bent double in the pain of her loss.  Through her fingers she looked at the ground and her tears fell on something small delicate covered with the ashes.  Gently she brushed the leaves clean and smiled with new understanding.  There in the soil was a tiny oak tree struggling to survive.  The fire had burned away the brush and the seedling could grow unchallenged, reaching for the sunlight which now poured upon it.  In the ashes she knew were the things it needed to grow tall and thrive.  Her tree was not gone for he had left a legacy to help others grow.  In he death of her oak both she and the seedling could see the wonder and miracle of life.

Each day the girl would go into the forest to speak to the seedling encouraging it with words of love and excitement of just being alive.

 

 


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