by Florence W. Deems

A week or so later, Mom and Dad did rent Gram's place to a family with two young kids, a boy age six and a girl age five. So at least that part of our order to the Universe came out the way I'd imagined it. But of course, we had to leave for our own home before this family could move in. The story tree, Tikker and all the little folks seemed to feel happy and upbeat about this new family. So I said goodbye to my unusual friends.

Me and my own story tree sure were happy to see each other again. Of course, I told my tree all about what had happened, and how me and the others had sent this order to the Universe. My tree questioned me thoroughly about this, so it'd know what to do, in case it ever had a chance to educate a human how to do this ordering from the Universe.


It's now about a month later. Me and my folks are visiting our new tenants to see how they like the place and how they're getting along. I make it a point to take the two kids out to the story tree, telling them how I used to climb up and sit in it for a while. I hoist them up into the tree and then climb up into it myself. Mary and Tommy tell me they love this tree.

No sooner than we get settled, Tikker appears! The two kids squeal in delight--they SEE him!

"His name's Tikker!" Mary announces.

"Yeah, he comes and talks to us 'most every day!" Tommy adds.

I laugh. "Hi, Tikker, nice to see you again!"

"Oh, do you know TIKKER?" Mary's eyes get round as saucers.

Tikker cackles, jumps up and down and then settles down again. "Charlie's a real good friend o' mine!"

"We're sure good friends, Tikker," I say. "And I'm glad Tommy and Mary can see you, too. Our order to the Universe really did get filled!"

The tree stirs its leaves. "Welcome back, Charlie! Yes, our order did get filled. Mary and Tommy can't climb up in me yet, but they'll grow fast and then they'll be able to."

"Yeah!" Tommy laughs. "But we gotta be patient 'til we can, though."

I breathe a big sigh of relief. "What about your mom and dad? Do they see and hear the tree and Tikker and the little folk?"

"Yep!" Tommy giggles.

Mary says, "Yeah, they can. But they say it sure is the dangedest thing--a talking tree and funny little folks running all around!"

Tommy says, "The tree told my folks YOU can talk to it, too, but your folks can't. So Mom said they won't say anything to your folks, Charlie."

Mary asks, "Can we come see your talking tree some time?"

I laugh, "Gee, this old tree's sure been telling stories about me, right!"

Tikker does another flip and the tree's leaves rustle vigorous-like. And suddenly all the other little folks pop onto its branches near us! Gee, there's some here I hadn't seen before!

"Golly," I say to the new ones, "you didn't show up when I was here before! Where'd you come from, anyway?"

While they titter their tinkling little laughs, Tikker tells me, "Seems word gets round, somehow. Bet it's the story trees talking."

"Why, of course", the story tree says. "I broadcast the good news! And the rest of the story trees picked up on it and also spread the word further. So now we have quite a population of the little folk. It's getting to be more like it was in the days before the white humans came here."

"Gee, I'm so glad!" I exclaim. "Now, Mary and Tom, you and your folks'll hafta take good care of this story tree and keep talking to the little folks and Tikker each day or so. Then they'll stay here and won't go away like Gram made 'em do. You know that story?"

"Oh, yeah!" Mary says. "But why'd she do that?" She seems more talkative than her brother.

"When you get older and go to school, you'll learn about history and then you'll understand more. Then you'll figure out why we think Gram chased them away."


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

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