The Trees and The Axe -

The Trees and The Axe -

The Trees and The Axe -

When the ax entered the forest, the trees said, “look, the handle is one of us!” as a burly white man walked about in the protected federal forest with a knapsack on his back, and ax in his hand. The handy ax handle smiled as he walked with his comrade, who stared out at the trees, looking for the perfect one to cut down. The handle rested in the man’s hand with a sense of pride and accomplishment on his face. He always wanted to be powerful and knew the blade could not slice through the wood without his help. Though the blade often looked down on him, he didn’t mind. What a small price to pay to be close to the man.
As the man and his ax walked through the forest, the trees looked at the handle with a feeling of betrayal. They couldn’t understand how one of their own could do this to them. Most of the trees groaned and shook their strong branches as a form of protest. Others sat back and excused the young handle for his betrayal. “He’s young. You can’t hold him accountable for his actions. The man is using him”, they argued. The handle heard nothing, as he only sought the approval of the man.

“Look” the handle shouted, “Let’s get that one” pointing in the direction of a rather intimidating oak tree, named Fred, who was planted relatively close to other daunting Oak trees.

“No.”, laughed the man. “He’s too big. His roots are too deep. It’ll take forever to bring him down. We don’t have the time to do it, and I don’t have the strength”, the man said as he schooled the young handle. “Let’s keep looking.”

As they walked away from the set of Oak trees, Fred shouted out “forgive them father for they know not what they do.” The frustrated handle looked back and replied, “Shut up old man!”

The Oak trees hissed and shook their branches at the man and his ax as they continued deeper into the forest. They walked past a set of Maple trees who argued with each other about the man’s intentions. “You can’t knock someone for trying to get money”, said a younger Maple tree named Kevin as his elders looked at him with disgrace. The handle shouted out, “Get rich, or die trying!” Kevin nodded with approval.

The man and his ax walked past a set of Elms who seemed confused. One young Elm named Joshua shouted, “Sell out!” The handle turned a deaf ear to the shout and simply responded, “Stop hating!” Since no one wanted to be called a hater, Joshua and his fellow Elms stood in silence.

The man and the ax walked past a set of Pine trees where a young Pine named Tracy, yelled out “Watch out, they’re coming!” The handle looked at the young Pine and responded, “Stop snitching bitch!” Disgusted, Tracy angrily yelled at him while her fellow Pines turned away. No one wanted to be associated with a snitch.

The man and his ax continued on until they came into a clearing. There, stood an apple tree named Angela. No other tree stood within 100 feet of Angela, which gave her a feeling of abandonment. Having such an insecure feeling about herself, she often dropped her unripe apples about just so people would notice. “How about that one?” the handle asked.

“She’s perfect”, said the man. “Let’s get her!”

The man took off his knapsack, and placed the ax on the ground at Angela’s foot. He looked up at her and said, “Wow! You are beautiful.” Angela naively looked back at the man and began to blush. His charm took her by surprise since no one ever complimented her. She turned away from the man and with a new found sense of confidence she spread her limbs. The man, with a grin on his face, picked up the ax and thrusted it into Angela’s frame. She yelled out in excruciating pain as the ax penetrated her bark. She screamed out for help as the man struck her over and over again with the ax.

Hearing the cry for help, the Pines, Elms, Maples and Oaks turned toward the scene and began to groan, yell, shout, and shake their branches causing a very strong breeze, which knocked the man down, and caused the ax to slip out of his hand. The man, fighting against the wind, crawled over to his knapsack and pulled out a wooden flute.

The flute, happy to finally be used, started playing a melodic tune which caught the attention of the attacking trees. They stopped. The flute’s beat grabbed their attention, and they began to sway side to side. The strong wind ceased as the trees focused on the tune.

The man stood up and grabbed the ax. The ax looked at the man with a stunned face. “Let’s go back to work”, said the man.

“Yes sir”, replied the ax.

The man swung his ax with vigor. Angela didn’t scream this time. The music from the flute entranced her as well. She just swayed to the rhythm. The ax pierced her deeper and deeper. She felt nothing. The man swung the ax over and over cutting deep into Angela’s frame. The handle yelled out, “Sir, she’s getting weak. Do you want to push her?”

“No!”, the man replied. “If we hit her a few more times, she’ll fall on her own.”

The man swung harder and harder digging into Angela. “C’mon bitch, fall!”, said the man. He swung harder and Angela didn’t respond. She just focused on the beat. She swayed to the melody as the ax pounded her frame. Finally, she stopped moving. The man took three steps backward, and two to the left.

“What’s wrong?”, said the handle wondering why the man backed away.

“Watch this”, replied the man. Angela stopped swaying to the music and fell to the ground. Her limbs cracked and crushed each other with the impact of the fall. Her ripening fruit spread across the forest ground. The man, the ax, and the flute looked at her with a sense of accomplishment. “That bitch was strong”, said the ax.

“Glad I had your help”, replied the man. “I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Fables of Aesop