Once upon a time, there lived an evergreen tree. He grew up on a farm beside lots of friends of similar stature. They grew big and tall until one day a team of people with chainsaws came along and chopped the no-longer-so-little fellows down. For our friendly hero, this startling development only became more alarming when he was wrapped in twine, stacked into a rather large covered truck and hit the open road for Denver, Colorado.
When next he saw the light of day, our tree was being unloaded into a semi-covered pen at a home repair store. Before long, families and small children started filtering by his new little section of the world. They would prop him upright, and squeeze his needled limbs. Then the world would spin around him as the family discussed the merits of every bit of his circumference. Still feeling ever so slightly dizzy, our hero was inevitably placed back in the jumble of his fellow trees, and the family moved on to choose a different festive addition to their holiday home.
Several weeks went by and this routine continued on. Trees with whom he had been carted along to the store steadily were purchased and taken away. They were replaced with little wooden reindeer and snowmen. Crowds began to dwindle and our little tree started to wonder what would become of him.
Then, about a week before Christmas, a couple walked in searching for a tree that wasn’t too pricey and had just enough character. In years past they would obtain a permit to cut down a tree from a tract of land owned by the state. But such plans fell through this particular year and so the couple found themselves navigating the surprisingly expensive world of seasonal tree lots. Becoming rather desperate—and even entertaining the dismal idea of no tree for the holiday—they received a tip about a home improvement store offering more reasonable options. With just the right amount of hope—for the scientists among us, that exact measurement is “an inkling”—they visited the store on a weekday afternoon and what should they find but the little hero tree with his slightly crooked spine. They happily plucked him from his pen and trundled him away.
Our tree entertained wild notions of where he might end up next. In another truck? In a plaza beside an ice skating rink? In a different outdoor pen covered in more orange plastic mesh?
A short journey later, he was pulled from the hatchback of a white hybrid electric vehicle and gently placed along a brick wall as the couple unlatched their front door lock. They disappeared within and the lady returned with a pair of kitchen scissors to remove the mesh that confined the fair tree. Next thing he knew he was inside the small cottage and being placed within a green and red stand in the corner between two windows. The fellow kept him steady as the lady adjusted a quartet of screws intended to keep the tree standing. Then the bottom of our tree was wrapped up snug with soft plaid material.
This little heroic tree hadn’t felt quite so comfy in quite some time. Not since feeling the warm dirt of his farm plot embracing his former roots. The couple stood back to survey their new home addition, nodded twice and pulled out boxes full of sparkly round ornaments and twinkle lights.
Little by little the dazzling baubles were strategically placed upon his outstretched branches. The tree hadn’t known what would become of him, but if this was his purpose he supposed his infinite imaginations could never have conjured such a vision. He felt warm, cozy and important. And if he was being really honest, just a little bit radiant, in a small cottage house sort of way.
And as the house lamps were turned down so the string of twinkle lights might shine even brighter, the little tree mused about the joy in simple beauties on cold nights. Despite his crooked trunk and somewhat patchy branch structure, he had been chosen to share this little home. He thought there might be a dash of heroism in standing tall with pride to share the particular joy only he could bring to the world.
Thus the inhabitants of the little cottage house—the cheery evergreen tree now among them—greeted the week before Christmas, excited to celebrate the holidays with loved ones near and far.
SIGNED, anya elise