a meadow, on a hill,
From seeds the breeze had sown,
There grew a broad and stately tree—
Its species quite unknown.
Winter, summer, fall, and spring
It reached for distant skies
And drove its mighty roots down deep
To maximize its size.
One spring day (or was it fall?),
The tree began to ponder,
"Should I remain upon this hill
Or pull up roots and wander?
"For all the good I might have done
And deeds I might do still
Might never happen if I stay
Alone upon this hill."
Just then, a passing raven heard
The tree's forlorn lament;
With feathers flying everywhere,
He swooped in wild descent.
For ravens prey upon the dead
And feast on broken dreams,
Thus seldom pass upon the chance
To hatch their wily schemes.
He'd never known a tree to walk
The best he could recall,
So it would be an awesome sight
To watch the timber fall.
"Poor tree," he squawked
in raucous tones,
Perched high upon a branch,
"Methinks perhaps it's best ye go—
Don't miss this splendid chance!
"To travel ‘round from shore to
Would surely be a thrill,
So rip thy roots out of the earth
And leave this blasted hill!"
The tree considered with delight
How different life would be
To grow upon a mountaintop
Or gaze upon the sea.
But could it really walk the earth?
So, with the raven's urging,
It pulled and tugged upon its roots,
The sap within it surging.
When from the meadow flew a dove
Who sensed some trouble brewing;
She landed on the writhing root,
And cooed, "What are you
"You cannot live on mountain peaks,
Your roots would starve in stone,
And seacoast sand is far too loose
In which to make your home.
"Your place is here, atop this hill—
To move would be absurd!
Abandon all these fruitless dreams
Hatched by that awful bird!"
The raven tossed a haughty sniff,
"How dare you interfere!
If this brave tree would rather go,
It's cruel to keep it here.
"For all the good it might have done,
And deeds it might do still,
Might never happen if it stays
Alone upon this hill."
Trees aren't too very smart, you see—
In fact, they're rather dense,
So what he heard the raven say
Made quite a lot of sense.
"Thank you, Raven," said
"For stating how I feel
And how I must enhance my days
To heighten their appeal.
"The seasons pass, I'm growing old,
But not appreciated—
It's time I move to greener grass
And leave this hill vacated."
The dove sat thinking long and hard
With furrowed feathered brow;
She must convince the tree to stay...
But wasn't sure quite how.
Then like a bolt out of the blue
Her strategy unfolded—
She pecked the tree hard on its root,
"Now listen here!"
"Next spring, what shelter shall
To hide from April showers?
Whose arms will hold the soil in place
For budding springtime flowers?
"In summertime when children romp
With laughter, games, and singing,
Where will they eat their picnic lunch
Or hang their tires for swinging?
"When autumn leaves begin to fall
And skies turn steely gray,
Where will the squirrels hide their nuts
Once you have gone away?
"The winter snow and icy winds
Make flying quite unpleasing,
So where will all the birds repose
To keep their feet from freezing?
"When you were planted on this hill,
God did so with good reason,
Without your knowledge you have helped
A soul in every season.
"But all the good already done
And deeds you might do still
Will be forgotten or ignored
If you should leave this hill."
"Oh, I give up!" The
Regretting ever fought her
(The last I heard, that dirty bird
Was coaxing fish from water).
And in the meadow since that day
Upon the chosen hill,
There stands a proud and stately tree
Content to do God's will.