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The Trees This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Do you see those trees, those tall pine trees, growing in two straight rows? They don't belong here in a garden surrounded by neat, fresh-cut grass. No, those are wild trees. Dead needles should be their bed, with large ants marching swiftly through on their way to anthills crafted of the fallen bark and other flora. Wild berries grow there, free for anyone to pick, blueberries, mostly. The small fruits are a bit more sour than farm-grown ones, but tastier, I think.

The fir trees grow close to beaches, where sand mixes with dirt, ants, and dead needles to make a very busy, living carpet. Little frogs hop about; on our way to the sea, I would try to catch them. Where the trees end, tall grass starts, sharp grass that hurts to walk through.

It isn't the only thing that grows on these white sand shores; little plants I call “fairy homes,” since I don't know their real name, grow in clumps. My sister and I play between them, pretending the fairies would go visit the other villages.

The water is always too cold in the Baltic, but the waves are big. Pretending to be dolphins, we jump into them and swim under them.

Later, by the campfire, supper is hot dogs, green grapes with seeds, and pita bread with cheese dip. Many times, the food falls in the sand, but we eat it anyway. S'mores are made by substituting pink, green, and yellow marshmallows for plain white ones, because they are the only kind in the stores. Toasted to perfection (which is hardly brown at all) and sandwiched between two chocolate-covered cookies, that is our substitute for the all-American treat.

We sit by the fire until our clocks tell us it is time to go home, although the sun hasn't set yet – it never will. We walk back through the grass and trees, the sounds of the sea receding from our ears.

You see? Those aren't garden trees. They're Estonian, like me.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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Chelsea said...
Nov. 23, 2010 at 4:32 am
Lissy! This is so beautiful! I miss Estonia even more now. What hard lives we have. You painted the picture of a beach back home so beautifully, and I could just hear, smell, see, taste, and feel everything. Great job! Keep writing; you've got talent!
 
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