I don’t have a name in the proper sense. I’ve never needed one. I began life 20 sleeps ago in a pretty spot near the river. As I grew I witnessed the large structures with the two-legs be abandoned and used many times. The latest occupants appeared to have deposed the last in typical genocidal fashion. Two-legs were cruel and unspeakably brutal to each other. While we fight for sun and water it is a slow struggle and a fair one. No ambushes, no tricks.
I was surprised to be harvested by the most recent owners. I’d seen my fellows fall to the axe or sword but not till they advanced in years. I’d come to understand a bit of the two-leg language. This group had a small one, a medium sized one and two big ones. They used a makeshift saw from the structures and quickly I can to earth, limbs shattering and life blood pouring from my stump. I hope my roots survive and can sprout a new tree. If not, my seedlings have spread far and wide and my kind will go on.
We do not lose our consciousness immediately. Death for us is slow – just like our life and our struggles against the elements. So I was aware of the stripping of my small limbs and the hacking to make me into a different shape. Two-legs are too soft to shape into much of anything. I’ve not seen them converted into anything of use besides fertilizer. They do make excellent fertilizer. Slowly, I was reformed into a point on one end and then cut again to shorten my trunk. The larger branches were shortened to 4 handles. In all I was about 3 leaves thick and about 60 leaves long.
I was then drug to a hole in the ground. Something blocked further passage of the two-legs and it became clear why I had been cut down. They quickly used me to batter down the barrier. Glowing green symbols exploded from the barrier and a groaning noise, like that of old limbs in the wind erupted from behind the barrier. As is usual for the two-legs I was discarded moments after bashing through the barrier. The small one created a portable, false light and then the all moved deeper into the dark hole.
My sap seeped out of my abbreviated trunk and I thought my last recollections would come as I lay in the dark, without wind, water or sun to to return my essence to the earth. I felt sadness at being wasted in this way but could do nothing to fix my situation. Time passed, sap leaked and still no return of the two-legs.
Finally they came back in a rush. Several leaked sap and all seem upset. Things followed them – they looked like two-legs but were not the same. Perhaps they were dead two-legs that somehow still walked – like my brethren who’s wood was too strong to yield to nature – even after their demise. In any case, the picked me up and ran me at the first of the perhaps-dead-two-legs. I crashed into it and parts of it flew – like a bark from a dead branch that falls from on high. Its parts did not rise and it seem to perish. More were behind it however and the two-legs that lived left me wedge in place; like a large rock near a root, stopping slowing the remaining perhaps-dead-two-legs. The two legs, both sorts, seemed to go back and forth swinging their branches at each other. Sap spilled from the living two-legs and the perhaps-dead-two-legs continued to shatter apart. Some of the live two-legs left the cave to the sun for a very short time. The small one came running back with one of my branches clutched in his fist. He proceeded to swing it at the perhaps-dead-two-leg that loomed over my trunk. His sight, perhaps, was poor as he always missed the perhaps-dead-two-legs. Bit by bit the perhaps-dead-two-legs fell to the normal two-legs and these rejoiced and shouted with each fallen foe. After they all fell, one of the big two legs came back with branches dead and long dry. He proclaimed them “torches” and the living two legs laughed and headed to the “keep” for “lunch”. Several leaked large amounts of red sap which stained their bark.
They disappeared and then returned a bit later, looking clean, fresh and healed. They each clutched a fire-stick and marched into the darkness. They drug me out of the narrow spot, over the shattered remains of the perhaps-dead-two-legs and dropped me to the soft, dark soil. After they moved through the narrow spot their light faded with them. At last I sit here, sap leaking, slowly perishing and wonder – how have the two-legs come to control this much? They seem a fickle and foolish species forever chasing and grabbing for light when the prudent path is to slowly and steadily grow to it. Chasing light means you are in the wrong spot tomorrow, when the clouds come in. Perhaps, if my original seed had fallen further from the waterfall…