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Standing up for Tree Stumps

Kenneth Avery is a Southern humorist with well over a thousand fans. The charm and wit in his writing span a nearly a decade.

Beauty in nature is always amazing.

Beauty in nature is always amazing.

In their time they were dark monsters who scared us at sundown. Some were good creations lending a nest, home, or a good place to take a needed-rest. Tree stumps are an endangered species. We hear this statement each time we click-on our TV and read it in our papers, but there is not a group (unless I have missed it) who is championing the fight to preserve our social icon’s, our old, forgotten tree stumps.

I know. So do not get your ire out at me. I get the concern for living animals, insects, and mammals, and yes, I care about old tree stumps. They say so much about the American way of life. But in reality, most of these old friends are merely a raging pace for local farmers to vie for the needed cropland or in a latter time, local loggers who sawed down these fine specimens of life to just turn them into logs which turned them into a big payday for the loggers.

Honestly. I find no problem with these two avenues of work. I know that there would have been a lot of starving people around if not for the tree stumps who all day, if we just listen, hey, we represent something! We are all that is left from that early time when men and women were mostly busy scratching out a daily living. Someone had to foot the bill. It was us in the form of valuable trees. Now all we have are those gentle whispers who are all just longing to tell the young ones a story of adventure or travel. But sadly, no one is listening.

Tree stumps can serve as a peaceful haven for anyone.

Tree stumps can serve as a peaceful haven for anyone.

I said that a lot of trees or “us” to be precise, gave their all for land for farming and logging, but I neglected to say that we gave our all for the wood that early Americans used to build their homes. This saved a lot of men, women, children and livestock from several bitter winter days and nights. But it is no wonder that we say, who cares? And folks, this question is heard a lot of times when I am about to fall asleep. Sad is not the word. Depressing is a better choice.

Please humor me in telling you a treasured-secret. Not many human beings know about what I am about to say. I remember it well how we stood by the lone, lonely, stammering brooks as they slowly made their way to the rivers that adopted them. I myself was blessed to grow and live in a pleasant place in the shade for me as I grew up into an Oak tree. Not a word from any humans except the occasional talks from a joyful father who carried his only son to his favorite fishing hole. I remember those words and memories. No one or anything can ever erase them from my bark.

I had this one friend, a true country boy who loved to pretend that we was a famous cowboy who was in trouble with a gang of bandits and he was alone hiding beside me to guard against the bandits who were shooting at him. I tried to not make a sound, but I just had to let-go a deep laugh as I remember that memory today. I was honored to be used as his hide-out, but to other adults, I was only a tree stump.

Not so. “we” were and are something besides relics. Remember that.

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© 2022 Kenneth Avery

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