You’ve probably heard about the wind whistling or a song carried on the breeze. Certainly, you’ve heard about the leaves rustling, a brook babbling, or the ocean waves roaring. But have you heard a tree talking?
I know what you’re thinking. The whistling and babbling and roaring are all natural occurrences. These sounds happen when the wind blows through tight spaces, the water trickles over rocks, or the force of the waves crash into the beach. It’s the movement that creates the sound. Even so, there’s no talking going on. A babbling brook is a lovely sound, but I wouldn’t call it talking.
Trees? They definitely don’t talk. They creak and groan, or maybe squeak. Sometimes they snap. They might even scratch as a branch blows in the wind and scrapes the side of your house. But they don’t talk.
At least, that’s what I thought, too. Then I read Rita Larkin Kayser’s story about a tree talking to her one sunny afternoon when she was seven. Was it her imagination? And how did this tree know her name? The Tree That Talked To Me has the answers to these burning and unique questions. Part romance and part mystery, I think you’ll enjoy this story and learning the truth about talking trees.
Whether It’s a Tree Talking or a More Romantic Moment of Love in the Garden, GreenPrints Has the Story
This story comes from our archive that spans over 30 years and includes more than 130 magazine issues of GreenPrints. I love pieces like these that stand as reminders of how much a garden can mean beyond some favorite vegetables, delicious berries, or colorful flowers. I hope you enjoy it, as well.
The Tree That Talked To Me
By Rita Larkin Kayser
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., published originally in 2017, in GreenPrints Issue #110. Illustrated by Hannah England
Have you had any similar experiences of trees or other plant life talking to you? I’d love to read about it in the comments below!