Friday, February 19, 2010

An Arbor Day Tale


Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Pam.

She went to Airport Elementary School in Berkeley, Missouri. She loved going to school. Every day was filled with fun and surprises. For example, when she was in the fourth grade, she and each of her classmates was given a tiny Eastern red cedar tree on Arbor Day. Her little seedling was only six and a half inches tall, a fact she lovingly recorded on the brochure that came with it. Then she pasted the brochure into her scrapbook so she would never forget.

On March 25, 1969, Pam's dad helped her plant the tree outside. It started to grow. By August, it looked like this.

Two years later, Pam's family moved from their house in St. Louis County to another house far away from the city. Pam's tree came with them. A few months after that, they moved again, into a farmhouse in southern Illinois. Once again, Pam's tree was transplanted. Miraculously, the tree survived these upheavals. It continued to grow. Seven years later, blanketed in snow, it looked like this.

But Pam's tree had an enemy--a bull named Ferdinand.

Unlike his namesake, this bull was no pacifist. He was fond of breaking through the fence that held him captive, and whenever he was being forced back into his pasture, he took out his frustration on the innocent little cedar tree.

One day, Pam happened to witness one of Ferdinand's attacks on the tree. Despite the fact that Ferdinand outweighed her by almost two tons, she bravely ran to tackle him and save her helpless friend. Fortunately, her dad was there to talk some sense into her. She retreated, but was relieved when he was finally able to prod Ferdinand back into the barn lot before he destroyed either her or her tree.

More than twenty years later, long after Pam had grown up moved away and her parents and sold the farm and left the area, she returned to visit her tree and show it to her children.

Recently, she learned that her tree was finally cut down by the new owners of the farmhouse. So on this Arbor Day in Georgia, 2010, she has resolved to plant another Eastern red cedar tree in the backyard of her home in suburban Atlanta in memory of her little tree from long ago.



eric said...

How COULD they?

This reminds me of that depressing Christmas recording. "The little cedar tree is gone, gone."

Pam said...

I know, right? But this is supposed to be a HAPPY tale. I choose to focus on all the good times the tree and I shared. :-)

eric said...

Sorry, I didn't mean to be a nattering nabob of negativity. Nevertheless, I remain outraged.

Pam said...

Okay, I admit it. Me, too. :-(

Carley said...

I am so impressed with your memory & the composition of your story. The pictures were great & I didn't even remember ever seeing them. They must have been taken with your little camera you had then.
The recounting of the story evoked some additional good memories for me, too, as so much has happened since then. I love reading your blogs. Thanks for sharing yourself with those that love you!

Pam said...

Glad you enjoyed my story, Mom! I had a lot of fun writing it. :-)

Carol Burnside said...

Great story, Pam.

Pam said...

Thanks, Carol. It was a lot of fun to write!