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Bleeding Tree


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The Bleeding Tree.
The air was warm and moist. It smelled like tropical flowers. The birds were out the baboons were out, the sheep, chickens, goats, and the cows as well as the pigs were all out, The people were so kind and pleasant to be around. My neighbors were from the Madie tribe, Kuku, and Acholi tribe. My family is Lango and we were the only Lango family found Keynguale. We are Sundaes and our native language is Okoliye, but I speak Acholi because I was born in a refugee settlement in Uganda where Acholi was spoken a lot.
My friends and I heard there was a tree deep in the jungle that bleeds, and the roots can whiten your teeth. We were so excited because we loved to explore, so we took off in two groups. One group was with two boys and three girls, the other was with one boy and three girls. I was in the second group. My group was deep in the jungle when we realized we were lost. We decided to find water and rest for a while. There was a fresh water stream down the hill, we could hear the water running and see birds flying over it. When we got to the water the other group was there as well, we all chose to make it one big group of ten people.
We started to walk back towards where we came from since we were all lost, hoping it would lead us home. Suddenly we heard a sound coming from the trees behind us, and it wasn’t something we’ve heard before. We freaked out and ran, I ran until I tripped on a root of this big dark, shadowed tree. On the ground I lifted myself up and turned to see who was still behind me. Everyone had gone back except my friend Simon and his little brother, who was only two years younger than him, he bribed us to bring him along or he was going to tell our parents. The tree I tripped on had the coldest shade, its leaves were small and widely spread, dark and thick. The shadow could cover ten family huts. I thought to myself main tien naw? What is this? Simon’s little brother pulled out his pocket knife and cut a small mark on the tree, then there was blood flowing down from its side. I got up and started to dig under my feet for a smaller root so I could take it home with me. The blood was so thick and dark. It dropped on my hand, and I wiped it off on a leaf, but it made a dark mark where it landed on my hand. Right there and then I knew this was more than a tree that could whiten your teeth, but it could be used for temporary tattooing as well.
We started cutting the tree more and more for the blood, we stored the blood in our water bottle. After we were done, I stepped back looking at the tree and it seemed like it was crying with all the blood flowing from every direction we cut and I felt awful, I felt its sorrow. I turned to my friends and told them we have to promise to never do this again, even when we get home. The two brothers kindly nodded their heads to say that they agreed. I told them the best we could do is to take what we have and leave, not because the tree was bleeding, but because it was starting to get dark and in a jungle like that who knew what would come at us.
Walking in the direction we saw our friends leave we found their tracks and followed them home. As for the root and ramu of the tree, we only shared the roots with everyone, not the blood. The ramu was our little secret, because we knew if people found out they would hurt the tree. We felt its pain the first time which is why we had to protect it.
Thinking back at what scared us when we were lost in the jungle and how frighten we were, we all started to laugh at each other when we found out what was making the sound. Turns out the sound was just coming from a trapped Bore. The past is in the past but its wreath remembering.



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