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The Silent Guardian

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In this place I’ve sat for many years, I suppose we should start at the beginning when I was a seedling. I sat in fascination at the new world. I listened to the older trees talk of the possible drought and their worries though they toned it down for the seedlings ears. Throughout my years here I watched the people walk by in utter fascination.
I was five years old when 1856 came around, a family of two sons and a daughter came walking into the field and sat down, letting their eager children have time to run around. The two boys wasted no time climbing the tree closest to me. The little girl struggling to keep up also tried climbing the tree the boys had hastily climbed up. The mother scolded the young child telling her it was improper to climb trees. The little girl sighed and sulked at the base of me muttering under her breath “it’s just not fair.” She looked up at me her eyes filled with wonder saying things like “I wish I was a tree I wouldn’t have to worry about these dumb rules.” “Macee” her mother called the girls attention. Macee gave me one more look and ran in her mother’s direction. Macee had a short conversation with her parents and then came back to me. She sat underneath me telling me about her family, “My name is Macee…I don’t suppose you have a name?” “No, probably not I suppose…” “Those are my brothers Darius and Ezrah over there, Darius is 12 and Ezrah’s 11. I’m 5...today, today’s my birthday.” A slight breeze went by which shook my leaves making Macee squeal with delight as if that was an acceptable answer to her statements. Macee sat and talked about what she did in her daily life the incoming breezes kept Macee happy as if for once someone was finally optimizing her thoughts. The conversation continued until Macee’s parents told her it was time to go, “I’ll be back soon…I promise.” She whispered as she ran off.
The other trees stood in silence mystified that for once someone acknowledged their existence and that they weren’t just things to be climbed on. The days stumbled on quite boring, I mean people walked by but I barely noticed them simply because they barely noticed me. I watched the days waiting for Macee to come excitedly back and sit telling me the stories of her life. As promised Macee came back day after day telling the stories of her imagination and of the real world as she saw it. As the years, went by Macee grew and so did I but she always came back.
Five years later, the atmosphere in the world had really changed. Macee was 10 and had come talking of war taking over the country, though she wasn’t really sure what the word meant. She had said her brothers had signed up to fight and they’d be gone for a while. The boys had gathered in the field where Macee had generally met me. The boys climbed my branches one last time before they suited up. A wrong step on my crooked branches caused one to bend and split. The boys climbed down the tree with somber faces. I could see the breath of the boys as they said unison “Goodbyes.”
It was late fall and I was ready to start the hibernation that I had long awaited. As the war raged, I slept and Macee came less often, but I understood why. Although I didn’t look at people with as much fascination I tried not to grow to hate them. The boys had come back to the familiar place I sat. Ezrah sat at the base of me; while Darius climbed up on the branch he had months ago. Darius had whispered that I had been missed and I realized I had missed him to, the whole family. He sat there cheery and carefree at least for a little while until I saw him. The enemy in the bushes he pointed his gun up and I knew the bullet was meant for Darius. I tried with all my might to warn him and shake my branches. My efforts prevailed the cracked branch broke and Darius fell safely to the ground as the bullet hit what was left of my mangled branch.
In the next couple months, my branches had clearly grown into a shape of a heart. The other trees with their perfect branches seemed to shun me. Macee had come back that day though; it’d been a year since I had seen her. She said Ezrah had been injured and they were sending him home and she didn’t know how Darius was. The heart that my branches had formed convinced her I was alive enough for her. That if she talked she was convinced I heard her, though I couldn’t do anything….I must have cared. The heart proved to me that I couldn’t lose faith in humanity and wouldn’t as long as some people have the ability to acknowledge my exsistance.



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