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Thread: Vickey's hot off the press brand new story THE OLD TREE

  1. #1
    Super Member wordpaintervs's Avatar
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    Vickey's hot off the press brand new story THE OLD TREE

    I hope you all enjoy this

    © Vickey Stamps 7-8-2012

    It stood on its low hill, overlooking the valley of lush greenness. The gnarling process in its
    trunk and branches had already began. Even its branches lifted to the heavens, had twisted
    and turned, as they spread above the earth beneath it. Mother earth had nourished it well,
    for it lived on, as if having a pulse within. It had spent empty years watching the few
    travelers passing its way. Now it looked at the riderless horses and the man who stood in
    their midst. The noise of a corral being built had fallen upon the old tree’s ears for many days.
    Now at last it was completed.

    An old, lean-to house, shack like, in its appearance, lay to the east of the corral. It was built
    there so that the sun might shine on it, on a warm day. There was a woman on the steps calling in
    the man for the last meal of the day. They’d married against his will. He had wanted a better
    home, a better start then this for a bride, but she’d convinced him not to wait. Soon that night,
    as those nights to follow, they’d lay beneath the quilt the ladies from her old and far away home
    had made for their wedding. They’d talk of their future. The tree’s limbs moved in the evening
    breeze, and at last, it slept as well.

    Thomas wanted some cattle to run, and to build into a herd. He’d felt the need to raise some horse stock. It had been a life-long dream. He knew it wouldn’t be easy, but he also knew he’d been
    given the strength and faith to make it happen. He and the Lord were partners. Sometimes a man needed time alone, a time of isolation those in his life wouldn’t always understand.
    He had taken up talking to the old tree on the hill. It enjoyed the visits, sometimes wishing it
    could voice an answer back to the man, as he spoke on things of mankind and the needs that both
    blessed and troubled one as they built a life.

    ‘Old Tree’ had become its official name in the conversations, as the years had passed. The herd
    had grown large and fine in quality. A small group of cattle ranged about the acreage that
    surrounded the home and tree. Fences had sprawled out across the land, and the lean-to was no
    more, being replaced by additional rooms as the children came. He built a bunkhouse for the men he would
    need to hire, that would help him build what would be a ranch.

    “Hello ‘Old Tree’” Thomas had spoken. “I been thinking on what an awesome responsibility the
    good Lord has given me. I been reading in His word and it tells me I gotta honor my wife and all
    those babies coming along. I gotta lead them to do the things honorable and right. I have to do
    all that. And ‘Old Tree,’ I just ain’t sure I got the strength. I’m wondering if I can be as strong
    as you seem to be. He’d bowed his head in a prayer. Now he patted the tree, as if it had become
    a good friend. I see you got some acorns growing. Whatcha gonna do with all of them? Guess
    you’ve heard all the birth cries of the three I got now.

    Look down there. Little Jesse’s gotten loose from his Ma and come out looking for me. He’s five
    now, you know. His two older brothers ain’t much older. They’ll be a help to me on this place,
    you know, when they grow a bit bigger in the britches.” Thomas went down the hill, grabbing up
    Jesse by the arms, swinging him in a circle like a merry-go-round, laughing with him in the brief
    time when work and cares stopped. He reckoned moments like these, were vital to happiness.
    Now he put him on his shoulders, taking him back to his Ma.

    The years had gone so fast. Two girl babies had come to bless their life, and the oldest of the
    two was eight now, home spun skirts sweeping the floor upon which they worked, helping their
    Ma, Elizabeth, the best they could. The conversations went on and more times then one, it was
    when sickness come and troubles threatened the man, who was now growing old and could be seen kneeling at the foot of the old tree. Sometimes he’d bring the Bible and read to the old tree, of
    the words within it. The tree kept its silence, but in its tree heart, heard it all. It wished it
    could wrap a gentle limb around the man during the tough times and comfort him, but of course
    it could not do that.

    “Old Tree” the man spoke, “Looks like you been doing your share in this old world. I’ve seen a
    beginning grove of young saplings, sprung up from your acorns, growing down the road a bit.
    Ive done my share too. I know you see my own style of acorns, down there to my home. They warm my heart.
    You’ve changed a lot ‘Old Tree’. I see the bumps on the branches, like there were trials in
    your own life. Poor old guy, I oughta cut you down. Your wood, would make a fine table for
    my Elizabeth. I’ve not given her much, but she's strong, smiles and continues on. Life is hard
    ‘Old Tree’, but I reckon you know that, as well as me. I’ll not cut ya down. You’ve become like
    a friend after all these years. The tree kept its silence, as always, but knew when all was
    silent and the night dark, it would lift itself in a gentle sigh, thinking on it all.

    Land had been cleared beside the tree and beneath the rich soil, rested Elizabeth and little
    Timothy. He hadn’t been strong enough to survive the pangs of birth and Elizabeth hadn’t been
    willing to let him go on alone. She’d patted Thomas's hand, and made him promise to be strong for the
    five children that would be left without her. “Timothy needs me Thomas. You’ll be fine.”
    Having said so, Elizabeth had, as Timothy, already had done, surrendered her soul, to the
    Creator. The old tree looked down upon them now, knowing the small fenced in area they
    rested in, would grow larger as time passed. It had looked down upon Thomas, crying out his
    heart in the missing of his helpmate and baby son. Life was just too hard, he thought. Again,
    the tree wished it could do something to help, but could not.

    The winter of life had come upon the man, now grown older and his body no longer stood so tall
    and was bent. His steps had begun to shuffle a bit. His girls had become young women and
    young men had come to court. Thomas wanted to run them off with his shotgun, but knew that
    wasn’t a good thing, so he’d settle with his pipe in Elizabeth’s parlor, and tell the girls to ‘stick
    with their knitting’ and had the boys sit in a small and separate chair. Eventually he’d doze off
    and the couple would slip out to sit on the porch swing and talk of their tomorrows and what
    the future could hold. Now, Thomas, rested beside Elizabeth, with their Timothy. Matthew,
    their second son lay to the left of them, having fallen victim to a long and bitter war.

    Jacob and Isaiah, were doing a fine job on the ranch. Each in turn, following the example of
    their father, would come to talk and share the day with the old oak tree. It had grown
    even older and far more gnarled, with the gift of time. Jacob was the younger and married,
    as was, Isaiah. Isaiah, being the oldest, stayed on at the big house. Together they’d built a
    home for the newlyweds, off to the side of the ranch.

    The girls had married and sometime’s when they’d visit the fenced area and its occupants, the
    youngsters would play below the tree. It wished it could smile upon them. It felt the smile
    anyway and that would be enough. The sounds of children’s laughter caressed it like a ray of
    sunlight that felt warm to the tree. It felt so much a part of the life of all these humans.

    Once again, the night came and those within it slept, for morning came early and the work
    waited for no one. The tree gave a great sigh, shifting its arms ever so lightly.
    Tomorrow was another day...


  2. #2
    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    that was a nice story. thanks.

  3. #3
    Super Member wordpaintervs's Avatar
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    you are so welcome. thanks for taking time to reply. It warms my heart that you enjoyed my writings. I have written over 400 things over the years.

    Vickey Stamps

  4. #4
    Super Member
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    Oooh I loved that. Vickey did you write that? wonderful, wonderful. I almost cried. So good! Thanks

  5. #5
    Super Member
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    Oct 2009
    Thank you for the story Vickey...my grandparents were Montana pioneers and could have written that as well...although probably not as beautifully. Thanks again.
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lois-nounoe's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    I love these kinds of stories. I would have made a great pioneer in those days. And if you look for the good in it Life Is Good!!!

  7. #7
    Super Member wordpaintervs's Avatar
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    Thanks to all of you that took time to read my story. I am glad you liked it. Made me feel good.

    Have a great week ahead.
    Vickey Stamps

  8. #8
    Power Poster
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    I've often wondered - are trees, rivers, mountains and rocks sentient?

  9. #9
    Super Member
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    Merritt Island ,Fl.
    Loved your story. It makes my day .Thank you . joyce j

  10. #10
    Super Member wordpaintervs's Avatar
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    thanks for the emails. I love to take something and 'give it a voice'. I do that sometimes with inatimate thing.....even a thumbtack that was bored on its bulletin board at church and wanted more in its life. It ended up going home stuck in the boot sole of a cowboy. I called it Rebellion of a Thumbtack. That was some time ago. ggl

    vickey Staps

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