Mar 15
Sydney's picture

Listen, I Have A Story

Whirling, dancing, free at last!  I was weightless, lighter than air, a tiny seed of an ash tree. I had not a care in the world. I felt the warm summer breeze carry me farther and farther from my mother tree and from familiar land. Then, the gust of wind ceased and I felt myself falling slowly, peacefully to the edge of a meadow, a cornfield in fact. I landed in a shady area and sat still and silent, waiting for a minute, an hour, a day, a week. After seven days of sitting in the shady undergrowth on the border between a forest and a cornfield, I heard a rustling sound. A large animal (which I did not know was called a deer) walked my way and covered me with dark, rich, soil as she passed. Then the rains came. Rain poured down day and night for two days straight. I was wet and covered in soil, a perfect time to spread my roots and begin reaching for the sun. I pushed up and before I knew it, there I was again, except this time I was a sprout. I grew and grew, and after two years I had become a hardy young sapling. I made friends with the other trees in my area. They were all very nice neighbors to have. We talked about the future, my future, and although there was hope, they all warned me of the same deadly threat, the Emerald Ash Borer. “The bug lays its eggs on your bark and the larvae hatch and drink your sap” they all told me. I tried not to think about this nauseating insect as I grew up. ”I will grow strong and I will fight that bug. I will not be taken advantage of.” This is what I kept reminding myself of as the years rolled by and I became a mature tree. As I grew older, I noticed that some of my friends became quieter and quieter until some were silent altogether. I noticed holes in their leaves. They began to look less and less healthy. “The bugs,” I thought. As the weeks turned into months, I began to hear whispers in the trees nearby “It has come, we are all doomed now”. I talked to my neighbors, those who still lived safe and healthy lives.” What is happening?” I asked.  I began to feel scared. I had become a mature ash tree by this time, and for all I knew I would be next.

It was fall so I decided to sleep through the winter and then think of what to do next in the spring. When spring came, I realized I had waited too long, already I saw my neighbors giving me sad looks and I realized that there were holes in my leaves. “No,” I screamed. “No, No, NO! Not me too.” I wept. I did not want to die. I was not even 20 years old. I summoned all my strength and released a chemical that pests don’t like or can be killed by. I released the chemical everyday for months and months. I released this chemical until my stores were all used up. I could do nothing more but wait and see if the beetle abandoned me. I grew very weak. I began to fear that I would fall. My strength left me. I wanted to live, but so did the Emerald Ash Borers in my bark. I was young and strong, so it seemed that I would live, but the beetle was stronger. I lost my leaves and then my sap’s flow reduced to a meager trickle before stopping altogether. My life had ended. It was not meant to happen this way. I was meant to live a longer life, to bring clean air to the other creatures of the earth and companionship to my fellow ash trees, but the Emerald Ash Borer took me, and then I was gone.