“Should you choose to listen, you’ll hear a little story now, for I will tell one. The story does not originate with me, for it is old and has been told many times. I did not learn this story from a book, and I have not rehearsed the telling of it, so coming from me, it is a new story every time.

This is the story of the crooked tree.


In a normal forest where one might find all kinds of different kinds of trees, if different kinds of trees were that for which one was looking, there stood a crooked tree.

The stand of trees all around the crooked tree grew very tall. Their long, straight upper limbs reached high into the canopy of the forest, their leaves catching the best, most direct sunlight.

Meanwhile, the crooked tree, with its relatively short, angular and curvy branches, lived on what sun filtered down to its greens.

The other trees enjoyed shouting insulting remarks down at the crooked tree.

“Look at how crooked you are!” They would take turns yelling, all laughing along.

Then the logging company came to the forest.

The lumberjacks, of course, took all the tall and straight trees, leaving the crooked tree untouched.

The logging company left, and other people came on the roads the great machines had cut. These people built fires with the lumberjacks leavings and hunted the animals of the forest and ate them. Eventually, they began to construct homes there, and around the crooked tree grew a village.

So it was that the children of the village came to play under the crooked tree.

One child was not like the others. His body was not the same. The other children often reminded him of this. They would act like their backs were bowed like his, sending him running in tears to the base of the crooked tree to sit while they played athletic games. Once, the crooked tree heard the boy whisper this through his quiet sobs:

“Oh tree, you are crooked like me.”

The children grew up, as children do, and just when they were maturing into adulthood, there was a war.

And the war, of course, took all the tall and straight young men, leaving but a few alive.”

winter wind in tree

curving branches feel the cold

like my bent old back

I was inspired to tell this story today by Sharon Knight’s photo above, having been directed to her amazing website by dVerse Poets Pub. In the course of the telling, I made sure to sprinkle in the prompt words provided this week by The Secret Keeper and Carpe Diem’s Haiku Shuukan.

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Linking up also with the cool folks of #KCACOLS!kcacols200x200