THE OAK TREE Story by author unknown to me
The hot sun sets the shining moon reappears and still I stand here, silently looking over the horizon, waiting for her return. Finally, when the darkness blankets the wood, she returns and shines brightly over me.
Oh mighty Oak, why do you stand there night after night? Are you not lonely?
Lonely? How can I be lonely, in this, my home? Don’t look sad my sweet star for I am not lonely. For above my head are you, my sweet star and the birds that perch on me. To the North are the groves of pine trees. Young and strong I always hear their branches whistle to me in the wind. Then to the East is my oldest friend the Mountain. He sits so rigid but has many stories to tell my grove. To the West is the babbling brook only her song can put me to rest at night. Finally, to the South is where I greet the rising sun each morn. You see my star; I have many friends around me.
Will you protect me tonight, oh Mighty Oak. Protect me from the darkness that I must light?
I would not be an oak if I didn’t my bright light. I used to always say that to my star, but soon afterwards the babbling brook would sing me to sleep. I didn’t mind protecting the grove I lived in but how I wish I could throw my nuts in the air. Every night dreams of passion would fill my mind, dreams of happiness. This night would be the last time I would see her before she rounded the horizon not to return for 5 more moons. Those were always long months, this time the waiting would be filled with agony, grief and mourning.
I am the oak. I protect this, my grove, from all harm. Often the small animals will come and gnaw at my trunk hoping to be protected for the day.
I am the oak. I give life to my grove; my leaves fall to the ground and nourish it while my seeds feed the animals.
I am the oak. I bring fertility to this my grove; passion soars among the animals in my shadows and they raise their young inside.
I am the Oak. I Am the King. I used to think I could protect my grove, I used to….
As always the sun rose from the South and I greeted it by turning my leaves towards the warmth. Most days always followed the same pattern that was until today. A most curious creature came walking from the west. He was too small to be a tree but could move like the animals. Unlike the animals he didn’t walk on four legs of fur, but walked on two naked legs. He didn’t have wings and couldn’t fly so he wasn’t a bird.
Sweet singing brook, what is this creature?
As usual no answer came from the brook. She didn’t talk but if you listened to her ripples you could feel her thoughts. She babbled on with songs of happiness and innocence inviting the creature to come play with her. Like he was told the creature came and sat down and tickled her back with his feet. She laughed and danced until finally he lied down beside her and slept.
Night came and darkness covered my grove once more. The pines still whistled and the brook sang my lullaby. When morning came the creature was gone and a herald came on river. It was a leaf, an oak leaf.
Oak leaf in the water why have you fallen off your branch.
Oak tree, oak tree
Listen to me
I bring a description of men
And warn you of his lion’s den
Yesterday, to north where the trees grow tall
I saw men cut with steel and watch them fall
My message is urgent, many to tell
Remember your brethren and how they fell
Oak leaf, oak leaf
Do not go
I am the king, I am the chief
Men are good I tell you so…
It was no good the oak leaf was gone already. Was he mad to say such things of the creature that played with us? Surely such a small thing could not harm a tree. This is absurd! Noon came and again the child came to play with brook. He would tickle her back and swim against her hair. To think that such a sweet child would harm her. It was ridiculous. Brook did not care of this threat either; she tossed him up into the air and cooled his hot skin. The brook would sing the child laugh. Having had enough fun for a day the boy got up and walked back towards the north.
Without warning the brook stopped singing and screamed in agony! She wasn’t playing any more she was being chased. Chased by blackness and floating scum. She ran faster and faster and tried to escape but the blackness reached out and grabbed the green cloak that covered her bottom. It pulled and pulled and soon the soft green cloak she once lied upon was brown and black like the filth that chased her.
Let her go! Let her go! Can you not hear her crying? Leave her be, I am the Oak; I am the protector of my grove! It didn’t listen to me, but continued to grab her, touch her. She tried to get away and put on her dress of Lilly pads. He did not care he would enjoy ripping the dress from her sweating body. What are you doing? What are you doing? Don’t touch her! I am the oak, I do not bless your fertility, in this my grove!
He touched the round soft rocks that grew from her body, touched them with slime. He fondled her river weed hair until it was no longer beautiful but black. She screamed, tried to fight him, but he was heavier and got underneath her. He held her close as the scum came forth. She twitched, as the scum entered her, then she twitched no longer, it was over. She became limp, didn’t move.
What have you done?! That is the sweet singing brook! Will she sing no more! I am the oak I protect this grove. I am the Oak King, who are you not to follow my fertility rites?
The blackness that came from the north was now all over her limp body and slowly he ate her. What abomination is this? Look what you have done the brook will sing no more, no longer will her soft hair touch the grasses below my feet. He would never leave my grove, and as the sun rose each morn I would be greeted by his stench. Every day I would look at the brook and see her last screaming face transfixed forever on her deadened body. What use is an Oak? Did I protect my grove?
Like some ghastly night horror my friends were ripped away from me. My old friend the mountain was shot, not once but once each day. Each morning I would awake to his screams of torturous pain. I used to say he had a heart of gold but his heart ran red. The men would collect is hard red blood and cart it away with war machines of steel. After the last red drop of blood was collected from his body they left. His wounds were left to bask in the hot sun, now open chasms of death.
My young companions to north were attacked as well. No longer did I hear their whistles in the wind. Instead I heard the roar of 3-foot cutting machines that sent their sap flying. Once standing majestically in the woods they now lied down faces in the dirt. What insidious battle was this? Where would the squirrels rest? Where would the birds perch? Are they so arrogant they do not care about my grove? The animals hearing my wails left with haste, never to return.
I am the Oak. I protect my grove. I am the Oak. I am lonely now. Every day passed with cries of pain until the last pine was felled. Now to the north is barren land, to the east there is a dead mountain, West is filth only in the South can I warm my leaves in the sun. Then to my surprise came the once young boy to the brook. He was no longer a boy he was a man. Should I stand here and greet him or thrash with my branches and kill him on the spot. He walked over to the river, perhaps to put his feet in, but then he too saw the filth. He was disgusted, just like I. He took a step back and gasped. Only now did he notice the barren land he now stood in. No more playground he once frolicked in. Now I wasn’t the only one feeling sad, alone. He came up to me and patted my trunk. Wiping away his tears he seemed to realize the pain I held inside. As he asked me for a gift he pulled a red ribbon from his pocket and started to tie it firmly on one of my branches. Once, twice, thrice he tied the silk ribbon each time praising my valiant effort…
Oh mighty oak, protector of the groves, show me your way.
Oh mighty oak, lover of the forest, teach me unconditional love
Oh mighty oak, you are indeed the king of this grove.
Then he withdrew a shiny metal blade from his lose fitting clothes and started to cut off the branch. The blade although sharp did not hurt me. The ribbon held tight and soon the branch was gone. He laboured the rest of the day shaving and cleaning that branch. He showered it with kisses of love. Before he left he turned to me with a smile, a gentle touch and said…
You are the oak, protector of the grove
You are the oak, from which fertility arises.
In you my friend lies the most precious gift of all
and within my hands lays the gift of hope.
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