Woods are lovely dark and deep….

There was once a woodcutter, let us call him WCA. He was walking along the woods and he came across a sapling. There was another woodcutter, let us call him WCB, next to it. They both stared at the sapling together. They came closer and closer to the sapling in hesitation. What sort of sapling was it? They caressed the leaves in wonder. They noticed that it was a beautiful little sapling as they got closer to it – they were so struck by the beauty of the sapling that they did not notice the thorns below the leaves.

The next week this woodcutter WCA, brought some water for the sapling. He saw WCB with the fertilizer for the sapling. The sapling had grown a leaf and by one inch. He was interested that even in this heat it had not died. While WCB put the fertilizer for the sapling, WCA watered the sapling and they smiled at each other. As they continued to do this, without them noticing the rate was growth was increasing. The water and the fertilizer were doing the trick – the sapling was growing by a couple of inches each week and there were 2 leaves sprouting each week. This continued for a few months and they started planning together and decided what each one would do to make the sapling grow.

Now each week the trunk was becoming larger and the leaves were multiplying in dozens per week. In a very short time the sapling had become a huge tree with many leaves. As the huge tree larger than any other tree stood in the garden, One day, as woodcutters WCA and WCB walked around the tree to water the whole tree, they suddenly stopped. They stood next to it in wonder and looked at the monstrosity that they had created. The tree had grown much more than they had intended it to grow. They looked at each other in new awe not sure how much more the tree should grow.

WCA came to the tree with the tea leaves that were used that morning. Tea leaves are good fertilizers someone had told him. He was eager to share his new finding with WCB. He waited and waited and WCB never turned up. He continued to water the tree and put the fertilizer. Yet, it was not the same anymore. The tree was no longer growing at the same speed as it used to. Once he saw WCB around the corner and they both poured the water together but it was back to the same – WCB disappeared again.

The leaves of the tree started falling. WCA poured more water, tried different fertilizers. Yet, it made no difference – the leaves fell faster as the winds blew. One summer evening, he noticed that the tree was nearly bare of leaves – all the new fertilizers to increase the fertilizers were no good. He spent all day around the tree trying to build the right spirit, gardening the area around, trying to create a good atmosphere. All friends and loved ones told him to stop watering the tree – “it is no use” they said – “You are just spoiling your life – you are going mad”. WCA said – “we built it together – I cannot let it die. I am sure something will work and one day WCB will be back and he will be happy to see it alive and thriving”. His friends said: “You are crazy. WCB does not care about this tree as much as you do”.

Many seasons passed. WCB came into the town and left without visiting the tree. He came again and donated fertilzers to other gardens. The tree had become bare – WCA stopped reduced the frequency of watering the tree. Leaves sprouted for sometime… one evening WCB came with a few friends into the town. Their fireplace was empty. “I know a tree” – said Plumber, a friend of WCB. “It has only a few leaves. If we break a branch we will have enough wood for our fireplace”. So they went into the woods.

As WCA came into the woods, he heard some axes on some branches. Anxious about the protected tree he ran to the tree. There were a few people sinking their axes into one of the branches with all the power. Directed by Plumber, WCB and his friends were cutting the branch without the leaves on them. As he ran to the tree to stop them, WCB pushed him aside and threw a powerful blow with his axe into the branch. The branch fell down with a thud as the tree swang from left to right.

Villagers talk about the stump in the woods now. As months passed they saw WCA walking into the woods with a heavy axe. They heard one blow per day. They watched a man with a heavy axe on his drooping shoulders walk back. One evening a group of villagers went into the woods. They found a small stump with just one branch remaining. WCA raised his heavy axe and the blow fell. The last of the branches fell to the ground with a heavy thud. WCA turned around and walked out of the woods, out of the village and away towards the sea.

He was never heard of again. WCB and his friends come every year – each year they cut down a branch of a tree for fire in the fireplace. A couple of decades later heaters took the place of fireplace – but by then apartment buildings had taken the place of the woods. WCB lives in the penthouse of one of those apartments now.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. lakshmi says:

    Did you write this? It is beautiful…

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