The Day the Trees Came Down

Once there were two crows. They were black. Very black. Both of them

Looking at them you could not tell them apart. Still, there was a difference, because one of the crows was a female, and the other was a male. Of course, the crows knew not only who they were but also what they were. They made not a big deal about it, but still there were certain customs they followed.

Kawika and Kawka                                 

The she-crow, whose name was Kawika, would never be the first to fly away from the tree, but wait for the he-crow, whose name was Kawka, to alight and then follow him and if she was in the mood to race she might even pass him. However, if she was nesting, she would remain on her eggs. Kawika was the one to find a place where to sun for both of them and she also carefully would choose the nesting site, and direct her mate to provide building materials for her nest when she wanted to start a family, and that day would soon arrive. The weather was spring-like and urges told them that the time for procreating was near. They were happy with each other and contend with nature and were sunning themselves on top of the the highest tree.

From their elevated location they were able to see the quiet water of Mill Lake and the entire city with scores of streets crisscrossing the township. They were able to see the busy highway with a steady stream of cars and trucks navigating east and west with many accesses leading into the various parts of the city. However, they missed the small caravan of trucks as it drove rapidly towards the entrance to Menno Place, where it stopped right alongside the tall Douglas fir-trees, with the sunning spot of the crow family on top of the highest one of them. Kawka sensed danger and alerted his mate. He quit the sunning and frantically moved his upper body up and down, loudly voicing his frustration, and when he saw a man in a tub at the end of a movable pole swaying his way up along the tree, he panicked and took off with Kawika closely following him.

The man in the tub at the end of the pole carried a loud sputtering chainsaw in his hand with which he cut the limbs off the more than hundred year-old tree. After that he revved up the chainsaw till it screamed as he cut across the trunk of the centenarian tree and in less than a minute the top of the big tree, including the sunning spot, waved momentarily like a drunk and then flopped down, making the earth tremble.

Six of the eight trees graced the hospital for as long as the building had existed. They were all between fifty and sixty years old, but the two end trees were well over a hundred. One by one the man stripped the trees of their limbs, and when the old trees were denuded he cut off the top parts of all them. The once proud Douglas firs, who lived to such a mature age were reduced to stumps, resembling dead totem poles. The final humiliating act happened when the trunks also were cut and fell, one over the other, never to rise again. A flock of geese did a fly by, loudly protesting as they went. The old man leaning on a cane wearily witnessed the last tree coming down. He had tears in his eyes.

Chief Executive Officer of Menno Place, Karen L. Baillie; Menno Place

A lady with a position at the estate walked by. She talked to the old man. All this had to happen she said. City officials had strongly recommended them to remove the trees, on account of some underground lines being disturbed by the trees’ roots. She told him that she believed that god had protected them from an impending disaster.

The old man took a deep breath and began to see their point among the other points, but his own point, which was, that an effort could have been made to relocate the gas lines. Then more good-looking women arrived as if from nowhere. One of them carried a large camera. She took pictures of all that was going on, they actually turned out to be beautiful photographs. She even made the old man look good as shethe-day-the-trees-crows-ii took his picture together with the lady with the position. It did create more spots for parking, the old man conceded, but Kawka and Kawika made made their home at the competition. Also with fir trees. Some say higher trees, but then, people just talk.