by Florence W. Deems

I go over to Gram's to say hi to the humans, but mostly to say goodnight to the big old white oak story tree. I climb up in its branches with Tom. Mary's visiting a friend.

"So," says the tree, "have you found a woman yet?"

"No, I just can't seem to find one that fits our needs. You know how most whites don't believe in story trees and little folk. This makes my search very hard. I can't go traveling all over the country for my search. My job keeps me close here. That's how I'd planned it, anyway. So I can keep close to you and my trees and the little folk. But there just don't seem to be any women who believe in all this around here."

"Hum, you humans do have a saying--Putting down roots--like we trees do. We put down roots to keep us in one place--you have a job that keeps you in one area. Charlie, you're becoming more like us trees every day!" Its leaves rustle in amusement.

"Yeah," I snort, "maybe that's what's wrong with me. I'm so much like a tree that I can't find a tree-woman!"

"Gee," says Tom, "am I going to hafta find a tree-woman, too, when I grow up?" He's got to the age now where he's begun to notice that girls are turning into rather fascinating critters.

The tree rustles its reddened leaves as I chuckle. "Tom, by the time you grow up, I sure hope there'll be more open-minded girls around for you to find."

"I just dunno. Ever wonct in a while, I just laugh and say to some of the kids, wouldn't it be funny if we could really talk to trees. But they just laugh, so I laugh, too, like I'd cracked a joke or sumpin. Heck, some of 'em call me Tommy the Tree, anyways. 'Cuz I spend so much time up here in the tree. What'd they call me if they knew what I REALLY do up here?"

I say, "Well, Tom, at least you've got a few years before you hafta start thinking about getting married. Me, now, I gotta think about doing it real soon."

"It may help to keep saying that to your friends, once in a while, Tom. Especially when you meet some new humans. Charlie never thought about doing this when he was your age. In fact, none of us thought about doing this then. We trees live so long that we tend to take things easy and not plan ahead, like you humans have to do. We grow and grow and produce a crop of acorns each year, then go to sleep and wake up the next spring and do it all over again."

Tom laughs, "Yeah, I sure do see that! But, y'know, seems like I do the same stuff year after year, too. I go t' school, then we get summer off, then I go t'school again, year after year. All the time." Now he looks glum.

"But Tom," I interject before he gets to feeling too down, "I usta think that, too. But then I got finished with high school and went away to college. Then after college, I came back here and now I have a job." Suddenly I laugh, "And now I get up, go to work, come home, go to bed, get up, go to work--same stuff, day after day, 'cept for weekends."

"Some people get jobs that they hafta travel all the time," Tom reminds me.

"Yeah, that's right! But one reason I didn't want that kinda job is so I can be close to the story trees, you and Mary and the little folk."

The tree rustles its leaves, "Tom, perhaps you could get a traveling job and find other story trees in the areas you'd be traveling to. Then when you'd come back home, you could tell us about the other story trees and tell us some of their stories, too."

Tom's eyes light up. "Hey, YEAH! Thanks, tree, that sounds great! So I'll hunt for a traveling job after I grow up!"

I say, "Tom, one thing I learned, though, about selecting a college. You need to visit the campus and see if there are any story trees on it. If not, then try another college. I didn't think to do that, so the campus where I went didn't have any story trees. So don't go to the college I went to!"

"Gee, thanks, Charlie. I'll sure remember that!"

The tree rustles again. "Charlie, do you remember what we did to get Tom and Mary and their folks to come live here?"

WOW! I'd forgotten all about that order to the Universe! "Yeah. You mean I should send the Universe another order so's I can meet the right gal to marry! Thanks! Now why didn't I think of doing that?"

"Yes," says the tree. "It's almost time for me to go to sleep. So I will sleep with the faith that your order is already filled, Charlie."

So me and Tom, we say goodnight to the tree. Tom wants to know what the tree meant. So I take time to explain it carefully to him. He's excited and thinks he can use this ordering stuff, too. Then I go back to the city to my apartment.

The next day I go see my folks, but manage to take some time to see my two story trees. The older one is almost asleep, so it just says a sleepy goodnight. The baby tree is still in its pot. I see Dad has sunk the pot into the ground for the winter and already has the wire cage covered. So this means the little tree's already asleep. I sigh and trudge back to the house and the nice hot meal Mom has fixed.

After supper, I go back to my apartment, sink into my easy chair--and place my order to the Universe!


The Story Trees
1 ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4 ~ 5 ~ 6 ~ 7
8 ~ 9 ~ 10 ~ 11 ~ 12 ~ 13

Back to Flo's Short Stories
Flo's Quill
Tandem Tooters

Website design, story and background image copyright
by Tone By Tone Dot Net