The South wind knew he would have to tell them. He had been rustling through the greenery alongside the Hike and Bike Trail when he heard some humans talking in a very dispirited manner. A hotel and parking lot were to be built on the adjacent land, which was home to many sheltering trees and verdant grasses. They would all be removed to make way for asphalt. This was to be the trees last living summer. They were to be murdered in the Fall. Murdered! He blew the word to them. Their leaves rustled the news to each other.
“It can’t be true,” they were saying, as they nodded and swayed at each other.
“I’m afraid so,” said the one deferred to as the elder. He was a tall, mature Pine and they all listened to him. “Yes, you have provided shade, shelter and beauty through the years but it seems this is to be lost in what the humans call progress.”
He told them of a town meeting, where many people spoke of other land and locations and should that have been a decided option, then they could have continued their green lives.
“But…but I’m only 50 years old and in excellent health,” lamented the stately Oak tree.
“I’m 60 years young,” said the giant Sycamore.
“What about me? queried the voluptuous Maple tree. Where will my yearly robins build their nests? Shelter their young? Feed them from the fat worms now laying in the grasses below me? The grass will be gone.”
The Linden trees swayed and shook their leaves in dismay.
The Pine tree elder had found the squirrels pesky at times but he had been willing to share his bounty of cones. They would sometimes gnaw away sitting placidly on a branch. Other times, they would dash away with a cone in their mouth seeking a place to store this food for winter. The elder sighed. With his imminent death, where would the squirrels go? It was territorial out there in desert country. Large trees like him were few and far between. It had taken many years for him to stand this tall having started as a seedling. He hoped he would be spared the indignity of screaming when his limbs were hacked off before the final death cut which would topple him to the earth. Will the townsfolk hear any of our cries? Will we be missed later as heat rises from the scorched paved earth? Melodious bird song will not be heard again from this area. The elder pondered on these things. The other trees looked to him for guidance. They were all in the prime of their lives. What could they do? There was only one hope. The Pine swayed and bowed his message to the waiting full canopy.
With one accord and their foliage shaking, they all lifted their leafy arms and prayed.