Amazing Kids! Magazine

Under the Gooseberry tree

By Samyuktha Kumar, Contributing Writer

 

“Once there was a tree…and she loved a little boy…”

I started reading Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree under my favorite tree.  I always longed for leisurely weekends not just for the pleasure of having a holiday but to go to the park and to meet my beloved gooseberry tree.  It was my tree, which made the entire park serene, shady, and beautiful. She surely stood out from all the rest.

I played, climbed up her trunk, chased the squirrels, swung in her lower branches and even tasted my first gooseberry with a puckered face. To me, friendship meant my gooseberry tree. I did share my joy, anxiety, and also my untold trivial secrets. She is my secret diary, and a trusted friend, whom I know, won’t divulge them to anyone. She always reached me with her pleasant shade and touched my heart with her soothing breeze. But I never wanted to be like the little boy in the The Giving Tree who later in his life, killed his tree for his own selfish needs. The story still haunts me. But mine was a tree that time cannot destroy.

It was summer vacation and I was off on a long holiday. I almost forgot my tree until I saw a beautiful bird feeder, which was dangling in one of the stores beckoning me to own it for my leafy companion. I pictured myself hanging it on to her branches and gratifying her. I knew she certainly would love to heed to the chattering of the winged visitors perching on her.

I was back home and couldn’t wait for the weekend to come. On the following Sunday, I rose early and raced to the park with the gift I got for my revered tree.

I reached the place, which looked devastated with piles of dry leaves and broken twigs. The blazing sunrays frizzled me up mercilessly. For a moment I thought I had come to a wrong spot. When I was about to return I saw a stump in the place of a huge tree. I hoped it was not my tree.

I staggered up towards the stump and parted a few twigs. There lay a bunch of putrid gooseberries. I broke down and started to sob.  The countless rings narrated its long life history. I placed the gift on the stump gingerly with trembling hands. I didn’t have the courage to stay any longer. I completely loathed the spiteful people who axed my innocent tree for whatever reason.

A passerby was telling someone it was cut down for development. Will this lead to our development or atrophy? I was back home lamenting. I implored to God, developments should not happen. I might’ve been silly, but I really meant it. I took my plant scrapbook, which I did for my school project. My tree’s pressed leaves decked up its pages. I gently stroked them and wailed. Aren’t trees supposed to be immortal?

Days rolled by.  Many weekends went off miserably as I couldn’t forget my tree’s tragic end. I felt as though I had lost a part in me, but going to school helped me ease out my anguish.

A day came when I walked into my classroom and was appalled by what I saw. There was a big banner which read “HAPPY GREEN DAY” and the room was filled with an overwhelming dose of different shades of greens. My peers invited me exuberantly with pamphlets and flyers, all of which read “save tree save earth.” But my mind and heart were filled to the brim with remorse for not been able to save my dear pal.

What the tree would’ve thought of me if I didn’t come to her rescue? Or would she have understood that I was helpless? My mind started racing suddenly. Would she have had the same feeling as me missing her? Definitely she would, because I strongly believed in the telepathic connection between the tree and me.

I stood feeling blue in the queue waiting to get my sapling, which was to be planted in the campus. I knew nothing could replace my agonizing loss of my buddy. It was my turn and I got my baby plant. I took it with a wistful sigh hoping that at least it lives a perpetual life. I glanced at the young plant. With its leaves swaying gently in the breeze, it looked up and smiled at me. It was…. a gooseberry plant. The tears that were streaming down my cheeks drenched the little plant.

THE END. BUT NOT FOR MY EVERGREEN PAL.

5 comments

  1. Vasanth /

    Proud of you Samy!!

  2. v ravindran /

    as i told you, you have the gift..keep at it..it will be very satisfying …

  3. Anwesha /

    Hey Sammy… I think your short stories are truly amazing. The title ‘Under my gooseberry tree’ evoked a feeling of curiosity in me. While your other short stories are light hearted and cheerful or playful, this particular short story was very emotional and touching, As a reader, I was moved by some qualities portrayed by the girl in the story. She is sensitive and caring. Your choice of words are excellent and you have used your descriptive imagination very skillfully to put together this gripping short story, Waiting to read you next story 🙂

  4. S Lakshmanan /

    Well conceived,Nice flow,with wonderful choice of words.

  5. Muthuvale Shanmugam /

    Very touching.