Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chop That Tree (part 4 - Margaret Ullrich)

We marched.  
Someone approved of another tree.  
The men chopped.  
The tree crashed.  
It broke.

God, it was cold. 

We were doomed to spend all day wandering like Flying Dutchmen on a quest to find the perfect unbreakable tree.  The lot was littered with other broken felled trees.  Some trees had landed across their comrades in a criss cross pattern that looked like a cradle.  A cradle, something soft, something to receive and hold... 

Hold it - something to catch a damn tree!

Nose drip and tears had frozen my mouth shut.  If I'd had the equipment I would've written my idea in the snow.  I slapped my face trying to restore circulation to my lower jaw.  Finally my lips parted.  I clutched Paul's arm.

"Cradle... tree... cradle," I mumbled and criss crossed my arms.  

The women thought I was pregnant and wanted a homemade cradle.  Thank God, months of marriage - misery and love - had united Paul's mind to mine.  Months of marriage had also taught us that Paul was no carpenter.  He knew the homemade cradle idea was bunk.  Paul caught on to my pantomime and told the others of my plan.  

Someone approved of another tree.  It would land on four broken trees.  The men chopped.  The tree crashed.  It survived.  We marched.  Someone approved of another tree.  It, too, survived.  

Christmas was saved. 

God, it was cold.

I didn't know it could get that cold.
I couldn't believe it.  
Some fool was planning the next year's tree chopping expedition.  

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