A sudden breeze releases a cluster of samaras from the faint grasp of the sycamore. They flutter down, a hover of helicopters, to the delight of the toddlers waiting below with open arms.

“I want that one!”

“No, that one’s mine!”

They jump with delight, arms entwined, grappling for the best fliers, then throw their new favorite toys up in the air and cheer and giggle as they flutter down, again and again and again.

Then on to the next thing.

One by one, nature’s helicopters meet their makers – lawnmower blades, watery drains, bored little hands – until only one remains. It hides under an orange and yellow shroud of giant leaves, sinking slowly and purposefully into the soft earth below.

***

“Look Mama, the tree is waking up!”

The first hint of green glances out from the bleak brown branches towering over the house, unaware of what the doorbell is about to bring forth.

“Sweetie, it’s not waking up, it’s just some leaves. You know the man is coming to take the tree away today. It’s sick, and we need to cut it down.”

The boy looks at his mother, channeling the tree’s message of disapproval. “If it’s so sick, how come it’s waking up?”

“Come on, let’s get you to school.”

The tree stands stoically as the surgeons prepare their trays of instruments for the operation. As the rattling belt of the chainsaw and the gnawing teeth of the root grinder shake the earth, the seed lies still, gathering all it can from the soil around it.

***

“Oh come on, stop running through the flower beds, kids!”

Two pairs of tiny shoes vigorously trample purple pansies, shredding their delicate petals. The shoes run back and forth along the length of the garden, their inhabitants laughing hysterically every time they straddle the lone tree shoot at the back of the flower bed.

“Look, it goes ‘boing’!”

The shoot bends accommodatingly, then straightens, fanning its sparse collection of leaves as its roots fan out below, preparing for a long summer.

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Most Voted Comments

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8

Bait

It takes a real talent to tell a story in so few words. What was…


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6

Endure and Sing

Inspirational piece. Am glad you picked the rat to be the protagonist in your story,…


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6

Endure and Sing

Such a sweet tale - and with a good moral to the story. I thought…


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5

Endure and Sing

Wow! This is a good story! Really good to read to little kids, the moral…


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4

Endure and Sing

Hi Katy, it really does add an extra dimension to hear your story read aloud…


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4

Endure and Sing

In my neighboring country Denmark, we have the classical storyteller Hans-Christian Andersen. Your sweet story…


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4

Endure and Sing

A really nice one with a wonderful story line. I can see why this was…


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4

Endure and Sing

A beautiful story! I was reminded of seeing Paul Potts and Susan Boyle on Britain's…


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4

Endure and Sing

Your story inspired me to keep going no matter how discouraging it gets. At times…


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4

Endure and Sing

Thank you so much for the feedback! I pray that the young readers will be…


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4

Endure and Sing

Thank you for taking the time to comment and convey your thoughts on the story.…


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4

Endure and Sing

Hi Katy, don't we all feel like the rat in your story at times! We…


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4

Vows

I must admit it was the picture of the church, with its grave yard, under…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

A very powerful story, Daniel. Your writing makes it easy to feel the reality of…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

Oh my gosh, Daniel. Your story really defines the word superb. You make me experience…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

A horrendous situation, more so because so many people find themselves going through it. A…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

What an extremely powerful story Daniel, really well written and with an ending that had…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

Daniel, this story is one of the best flash fiction stories I've ever read. You…


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3

In Memoriam

It's terrible to lose someone you love and accept that he is not a part…


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3

The Problem with Women

I think Carrie has said it all. We rest our collective case.  ? 


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