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Friday, November 19, 2021

The animals worry about the demise of a tree...the annual drama

{My latest Tales & Tails column for The Lincoln County News}

I heard the slow shuffle of donkey feet as I left house.

Paco, I thought.

“Mrs. Dunn, I am concerned about the tree,” Paco said. “It is almost Thanksgiving.”

Every year, I have to reassure Paco that we’ll find the perfect tree in the woods well before Christmas.

“Paco, you need not worry, we will find one in plenty of time,” I said and we headed to the outer barn for his breakfast.

“I just need to get to the know the tree, so I can write a poem in honor of it’s demise,” he said, still concerned.

Just then, Pickles appeared out of nowhere, followed by Puddles and Hannah, and soon all the goats, old and young, joined us.

“Who had a demise?!” asked Poetry, one of the elder goats.

“What’s a demise?” asked little Hannah.

“A death,” said Earnest the pig who had wandered over hearing the commotion.

“Nobody has died!” I said.

“But we are going to kill a tree, so I must prepare a poem for him or her, to honor them,” said Paco.

Hannah began to cry. She had never had a Christmas tree since she was just born in the spring.

Earnest the pig consoled her, “Hannah, the trees have many purposes in life, and one is giving themselves to us so we can decorate them for Christmas.”

“But what if they have another purpose, like holding the squirrels and birds?”

“We always look for tiny trees, that aren’t strong enough to do that,” said Earnest.

Pickles gasped. “We kill the baby trees?!”

By this time we were to the outer barn, and all the horses and ponies and llamas were wondering what the big conversation was.

“Has something of importance occurred” asked Harry the llama.

Paco the donkey said very slowly, “I am worried about finding the tree in time, so I can write a worthy eulogy.”

“Ah yes, the annual tree crisis,” Harry said stoically.

George the goat appeared, eating something. George was always eating something. “The best part of Christmas is the tree, because I get to eat it after the holiday,” said George the goat.

Hannah started crying again.

“We could get one of those pink, fake trees with glitter, I saw one in “Sears and Roebuck”,” said Poetry.

How are they getting that catalog? I wondered.

“Sacrilege!” said Earnest the pig. “There will be no fake trees for Christmas!”

And then Boone, the mellow red horse, walked over.

“Everything we have to eat was once alive. Shall we stop cutting the grasses for our hay?”

Hannah screamed, “We kill grasses too?!”

Boone leaned down to Hannah and said, “My lass, we are in circular relationship with all of Nature. We poop on the grasses, and that feeds them. They thank us by growing tall, and then we eat them.”

Earnest the pig put his arm around Hannah, and Paco, “What do you say we all visit the trees, and share our poop with them?”