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The Wounded Warrior
A stabbing pain in my side awakens me from my slumber. I open my eyes to find a manly face full of wrinkles staring at me, sweat dripping down his red cheeks, his eyes brimming with determination and power. The pain comes again, and again, and again. I think, what is happening? Where is the pain coming from? Who is this strange man?
Then I take a glance at his hands. He is wielding an axe. An axe.
He’s chopping me up!
He swings his muscular arms and forces the axe into my side, cutting through my dry, flaking bark. My wound grows ever deeper with each blow from the axe. The pain is overwhelmingly horrible. It seems as though any moment it will overtake me. Surely it must be seeping out of my cut; there is so much of it. Surely the man will stop any moment now, right?
I can’t take it anymore. I try shaking my branches, but that only results in the rustling of my vibrant green leaves. I then try to scream at the man.
Stop! I holler at him. Why are you doing this? Do you know how much this hurts? Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?
It doesn’t work. Either he doesn’t hear me, or he just ignores me. The pain continues on, and my tolerance is withering away with every Chop! Chop! Chop! My wound has grown very deep; nearly halfway through me. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.
The man starts to sweat more and more. The heat of midday must be getting to him, along with all of the physical activity he is doing. I hope that he will tire soon and leave me be before his deed is done.
Suddenly the skies above become covered in looming grey storm clouds. Rain begins to pour down on the Earth, pelting the land with beads of freezing water. Thunder booms in the distance and a strong bolt of lightning penetrates the thick layer of clouds, parting them just enough to squeeze its way through. It strikes the ground in a burst of angry energy, startling the terrible man causing me so much pain.
Startled and soaked, he looks up at the dark sky. I can sense his fear. He is afraid of being struck by a crack of lightning; he is afraid of the possibility that this may be his last day on Earth. As another beam of lightning hits the ground violently nearly one mile away from him, lighting up the world as if the Sun is out, he races out from underneath the cover of my branches- taking the axe with him. Without a word or one last glance at the sky he leaps into his motorized vehicle and drives away.
As his vehicle drives quickly out of my view, I look up at the sky and say, Thank you, Mother Nature. For I have no doubt in my old heart that she is the one that wanted me to live, thus creating this wonderful storm. A few moments later the clouds lift and the rain halts and the Sun is out once more.
A far off voice whispers, your welcome, wounded warrior.
And so I was and still am. The pain may now be gone, but the wound surely isn’t- no, that will last forever.