When The Last Wild Tree Was Felled

Following is a story penned by my brother, Rod years ago (he also, as an accomplished artist, created the cover to my book). It is part of an, as yet, unpublished collection of 29 fantastic short stories. Really top notch in my biased and unbiased opinion. His stories range from environmentally oriented tales (which I will post here, as this is an environmental blog) to the philosophical, to the hilarious. In hopes of giving them some exposure, here, and in the next post, are two.

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API – It was a glorious time the day the last wild tree was felled. Officially recorded as occurring at 12:00 p.m., the 16th of April, 2035, it took place on a hill high in a remote location of the Rocky Mountains. While experts had long been predicting the event, nothing could compare to the anticipation and excitement of that moment.

Covered by almost all of the major TV networks with even a cursory nod from the popular Network series, Money, the event was a true media blitz, garnering one of the highest ratings in television history. Ten of the largest urban redevelopment corporations each vied for the singular honor of placing their own monogrammed chainsaw against the bark of the tree and hence their place in the history books, Leach and Company finally submitting the winning bid. When informed of its approval, Leach CEO, Vinny Pecker, was quoted as saying, “I couldn’t be happier than I am right now.”

An estimated ten thousand persons turned out for the event, some as early as Monday morning, all hoping to find the best location to set up their lawn chairs and coolers. Along the dry barren hills, a carnival like atmosphere prevailed, vendors hurriedly setting up plastiform stands, selling everything from key chains to t-shirts, all bearing the likeness of the ill-fated tree. And for a small fee, people could line up for a chance to be photographed holding the actual chainsaw that the Leach CEO would use to cut it down. Later, even small bits of the tree itself were put on display, chunks of the still wet wood sold as pendants or charms to the elated crowd.

A number of celebrities and other interested persons from around the country spoke briefly, eulogizing the momentous event in glowing terms, one even comparing it to the historicity of the Pacific Railroad Act that finally joined the east and west halves of the country in 1869. The final speaker, of course, was President Dillon, who spoke a few words in praise of the strength and tenacity of the American spirit.

A hushed silence fell on the crowd as 12:00 finally rolled around. Then a gasp and a cheer as the saw bit into the wood, spraying out a noisy shower of splinters and sending the tree crashing to the ground. Then President Dillon and Leach CEO Pecker drank a toast to the future of Leach industries over the corpse of the fallen tree.

While some later spoke of the experience as boring, it was a thrill this proud reporter will not soon forget, and I am left wondering just what our next happy milestone will be.

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