The Tree Sapling

When I was a sapling, there were people living here. People who would admire the beauty of my kin around them, with the sun littering between our leaves. There was a man in particular who came to watch me grow. I do not recall his name, as it’s been over a century, but he sang to us. The songs of our mothers, he called it. Everything was so serene here until the battle waged.

Instead of protecting the castle with my branches from the sun and rain, I was cut down and used in effort to destroy it. Destroy the man’s home that took care of me and my kin. They cut me down and used my thick trunk to crash through the front doors.

After they damaged the doors, through they went. I still remember the screams that night. The screams of the man and his wife. What became of the child they had just borne I do not know.

The murderous men took arm loads of the singing man’s treasure and set it on their cart. I laid on the ground, wishing I could swing my branches at them, but they had cut them all off.

So now I lay here in my last days of rotting. The tiny infiltrators crawling in my trunk, waging their way to my core. I hear them chewing their way through. Almost as if they were like the men, trying to get into the doors.

They are through now. I can see them with their hungry eyes.

Take me, I think to myself. Take me like those men took my friend. I deserve it.

The rotting wood split apart at last, the thick trunk lined with termite tunnels. The wind stroked the dying tree, almost as a sigh of relief. After years of torment from knowing he had helped kill his friends, he is at rest.