The Hidden Tree

I remember the first time that my parents let me come with them to work. Most kids might have been stuck in a bland office on bring-your-kids-to-work day. Not me. My parents worked out in the sun, surrounded by nature, hunting down ancient artefacts.

My parents had never looked cooler. To my seven-year-old self, their lives were straight out of an action-adventure movie. They were my real-life Indinna Jonesies. We had wandered up the side of a mountain in search of an ancient scroll. It was perfect. They had even packed a picnic. 

At the top, where the canopy thinned enough to create a natural lookout, we ate whilst drinking in the surrounding treescape. Melbourne had been a tiny speck in the distance, glistening towers tiny sparkles on a horizon that stretched for infinity.

I had taken over the family business of investigating the paranormal when I turned eighteen. Today, the people in town would know me as an arborist. I had managed to sneak my way into an inner-city grove that was said to house some of the most beautiful ornamental trees in the world, with the promise I would survey the ‘health’ of the trees.

There were rumours in town that the root systems burrowed under the houses, wrapping around drainage pipes and – this was the part that brought me there – pulsed with a sweet song in the dead of night. 

The grove had become overgrown with time, making my journey difficult. Under the bushes and leaves, there were hints of dozens of cut down trees. Whilst I saw signs of stump removal near me, it looked like the once-maintained paradise had slowly lost funding over the years.

It did not affect the beauty of the place. The garden had an ethereal presence that pushed me further into the thicket. Eventually, the small underbrush transformed into a grove of fruit trees. The towering skyscrapers above me became obscured by the thick canopy.  I had found the heart of the garden. 

Glancing at my watch, I knew it would be dark soon. The song would begin.

A Lovely Picnic/Protest in the Grove

Melbourne tree removalWhat a tale I’ll have to tell my school chums! ‘My Very First Environmentalist Protest-Slash-Hunger Strike’. Such fun! I only did so for about an hour, but it was thrilling nonetheless.

Mummy and Daddy are always telling us that we should use our great wealth, intelligence, good breeding and general superiority to help people who were not born with such marvellous talents and gifts. Then I heard that Daddy was building a new golf course over near the grove, which just so happens to be where I thought I fairy community lived until last year when I grew out of such things. It would involve bringing in all of these swift, efficient tree felling services to bulldoze the place and leave it fresh and flat.

We’d JUST been learning about the environment in our World Studies class, and how trees being cut down is just really quite horrid, sometimes. I wasn’t sure if this was one of those times, but I thought I had a duty to protect this defenseless bunch of trees, given that they weren’t born with any money at all, and could not even be asked politely to move.

Daddy said that the tree lopping men would be coming around twelve o’clock on Saturday, so I enacted my plan. I took a picnic basket to the grove, along with several large pieces of paper from the art room alongside a number of paintbrushes. I didn’t want to appear rude, so while I ate my salmon and cucumber sandwiches I put up signs on the trees with polite-yet-firm messages such as ‘Is This Tree Removal Strictly Necessary?’ and ‘Perhaps We Should Discuss This Over Tea’ and also ‘Perhaps There Are Trees That Need Removing Even More Than These Ones Elsewhere. Have You Checked? Just Wondering.’

The I climbed the one nearest to the house and waited. And waited. And golly, it was a bit breezy up there. The tree was rather uncomfortable to sit on, and I realised that the log I mistook for a fairy city was really just mouldy and full of spiders. Also, I’d accidentally fluffed the ‘hunger strike’ part by bringing and partaking of my picnic basket.

Ah, well. Who was to stand in the way of professional tree removal services in Melbourne? I still had a most exciting time protesting and being terribly counter-establishment. Of course, I put my signs in the recycling as well, because that’s just basic responsibility.


The Fair Kingdom, To Be Removed?

tree loppingOh dear! My fairy kingdom!

Father says the copse of trees down near the lake is being removed to make way for a silly old golf course, and I think it’s so terribly rotten. When I have school chums over, or just when I’m by myself and in the mood, I’d often travel down there and pretend I’m in a magical fairy kingdom deep in the woods. Of course, sometimes it does not feel like pretending at all, because it really is rather magical down there with a spring and a clearing of tree stumps and a tree that grants wishes, really.

I am thinking of protesting. It is what the common people do when they do not have enough money to simply make a problem go away. Once Daddy’s Melbourne tree lopping people arrive, I shall have built myself a treehouse covered in slogans that support the environment and declare the fairies and woodland folk should be free from industry. And I shall refuse to come down until the tree removal people go and remove trees elsewhere! Or rather, I shall only come down for the essentials, such as meals, going to bed, attending school (with extracurricular activities) and other social events that require my attention. Otherwise, I shall be in my treehouse, facing down the tree lopping folks and giving them my best eagle eye that I was taught by Frau Sauer, my extremely terrifying and commanding European Languages teacher. We always dedicated several minutes at the end of each tutoring session for such things; it was from Frau Sauer that I learned that all men are scum and women should be in charge of the world, which I found rather fascinating even if I feel it warrants further investigation.

Perhaps another time. For now, I must take on the Melbourne tree removal industry and win. Perhaps they will be too busy and will not be able to come? I shall live in hope…since I do not think I even know how to make a treehouse. It gets awfully windy up there.