Tree Alive!

by Roderick T. Long

[written around 12, or 1976-ish, in Idaho Falls; I fear the title “Twee Alive!” would suit it better. Not a bad metaphor for the Revolution, though.]

The sun has risen. I stretch my branches and turn my leave to catch the sun’s rays. The light glistens on the dew-filled leaves, and my rough bark is splattered with water from a cascade of dew as I shake my branches again.

Already the grasses at my feet begin to dance in the wind. The birds sing in my branches, heralding the sun’s triumph over Darknight.

I am an early riser, but now the other trees awake. They wave their branches in the prairie wind. They are several yards away, but I can see every feature on their glistening faces. I call to them. They see me, and come running toward me, pushing aside the tall prairie grasses. I run to meet them.

The birds fly off me in dismay and confusion. They are used only to trees that stand still, with their feet buried in the ground. But we are free trees. We laugh, and sing, and dance, and play. The other trees almost never laugh. They have nothing to laugh about. They are not free trees.

My comrades and I are united, now, and they are full of something to say. “It’s the sapling – he’s come up – he’s free!”

Indeed he is. We watch breathlessly as the young sapling takes his first, hesitant, steps. Then, he rushes forward, leap over a stone, and comes to dance with us.

The other trees look on wistfully. Some will never be free. Others will be soon. There are only seven of us now, at least here. I do not know how many other trees in other places have become free. But there are more of us each year. And someday, we will all be free.

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