For those of you who don’t live in the watery northwest, you’re probably unaware of the prison camps we keep for trees.
Let’s look at Herbert. As a small sapling he was overjoyed to have his feet stuck in mother earth and bathed by constant sky juice. But like SkyNet, he became self aware and to his right and left as far as his needles could see (needles have eyes, you know) were rows and rows of captives like himself.
Oh…Herbert was fed and watered, but he was forced to remain in the clique around him, who were considered cantankerous, grabbing at the occasional passing coyote and slapping the $#%!!!* deer that loved to pinch him with their teeth.
One summer day while Herbert was being rebellious and growing a mullet of miscellaneous branches, he spied a free-range tree across the road. Her limbs were long and flowing and she consorted with older guys in the oak family. Her name was Abies and and they fell in love. She loved Herbert even when Big Brother arrived every year with machetes and whacked his hair so it would grow into a perfect pyramidal shape. She adored him even when she grew taller because he had no elbow room between his homies.
Then the helicopters arrived. Big brother chainsawed through Herbert’s feet, rolled him in a net, and threw him in a dogpile with his friends. The copters buzzed the sky like flies over carrion hooking into the piles and hauling them to transports.
The last Abies saw was the tip of Herbert’s cowlicked needles heading off to desert country.
So this season, as you amble through the narthexes
of WalMart and Safeway, looking for the perfect tree, call out to Herbert. He may be there. Take him home. Tell him Abies still loves him. She’s glad he’s free at last.