Cuttings

The Tree That Talked To Me

ILLUSTRATION BY HANNAH ENGLAND

Since I’ve never been able to remember if the sun revolves around the Earth or not, I have no right to question the ideas shared in last issue’s excerpt from The Hidden Life of Trees: that trees communicate with each other and help each other out.

But it did remind me of the time a tree talked to me! (Well…)

I was about seven years old. Every summer day I would walk the quarter mile from our house to the mailbox and wait for Charlie, our mailman, to bring the mail. One day I got there early, so I had some time to play. It was a beautiful morning, and I busied myself picking Johnny jump-ups and listening to the birds sing.

Suddenly I heard more than birds. I heard a voice say, “Hi!”

I looked around but didn’t see anyone. Then I heard my name: “Hi, Rita!” It sounded like it’d come from the big oak near the neighbor’s. I walked over to the tree and searched its branches, but I didn’t see anyone. Was the tree talking to me? I had about decided that it must be the tree—when I heard a giggle above me. At the top of the tree sat the neighbor boy. He was eight and had a fierce crush on me. I was embarrassed and awfully glad Charlie brought the mail just then so I could run home.

Maybe trees do communicate with each other in mysterious ways, but if those researchers think they hear something, they should check for clues in the treetops. They might just find a blush-ing schoolboy whispering sweet nothings to his girl.

—By Rita Larkin Kayser of Marquand, MO.


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