Neil Coppen

writings/ plays/ poetry/musings/travel journals and newspaper columns

Tree Boy

September22

There was a boy in a crowded city who wished he could be a tree. Wished he could be alone, wished he could be a tree who didn’t have to say anything or think anything. He wanted to be something someone who could grow without life’s complications.

 

He returned to the great lake of his childhood to think. A vast and proud expanse of water. The one with crooked trees on the shore and pink sunsets. He had decided to sit on its thoughtful rocks and think, lulled into dreams alongside the lapping waves.

 

But when the boy arrived at his ‘place of thought’ and ‘lake of dreams’ the basin was dry, and the lake was drained to a puddle. The water had vanished and the place of thought was an empty thought or dream drained of all its water. So he walked its desert bed, the earth still muddy and damp between his toes.

 

It seemed as if he had wondered into a nightmare where thoughts had become to fearsome to wrestle with. He felt his soul desert him in a quest for new happiness. He was left very frightened and sad that his search had come to this, that his joy had finally escaped into the expanse along with his mind.

 

So the boy found a muddy pool and covered his entire body with the mud. Till it sealed up his eyes and filled his mouth. When he was completely covered he began to run. He ran until he encountered human voices and feeling to embarrassed to be seen looking so muddy and frightening he disappeared into a near by forest.

 

And whilst running through the Forrest, blinded by the mud, his heart beating furiously in his chest, the leaves and twigs began to stick to his body, Till he was covered in thick foliage. Till the mud began to dry into bark and he could run no more. Slowly he felt himself becoming a tree. And as night crept into the forest he began to fall a sleep to the sound of his heart beat softening……

 

And just before his transformation had completed itself and he was about to pass into a deep tree dream, he heard his mothers voice, a frail frightened voice calling his name. He tried to answer but his tongue was hard and wooden. He tried to see but his eyes were sealed shut. He tried to hear, tried to reach out but his ears were empty of sound and his fingers were now small branches. He tried to cry a last tear but his heart was heavy and wooden and still.

 

And now there is a tree in a crowded forest alongside an empty lake. That dreams he could be a boy, who has something to say, and something to think, that can hold his mother in real arms again and recapture his wondering sprit from out of the atmosphere.

 

 

posted under Childrens story

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