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Fantasy Fiction Funny

The Sapling

This is a tale that needs to be told. It’s set in a beautiful Newfoundland forest. Right out in the middle of no where, a place that no one sees except for the odd hiker here and there. In this luscious forest, the beauty is unmatched. there’s a kaleidoscope of colors on each and every freely growing foliage. There were so many varieties of grass, flowers, bushes, right up to the woodland wonders. The trees. 

Tender wisps of fog embraced one tree and then the next. It was so smoothly jumping around each tree it was reminiscent of a child’s game. A favorite game of Leap Frog. Where you hopped from one lily pad to another. The fog was also like a spray of sunshine that can’t decide where to shower though the thick forest. Instead it splits itself, filtering through every cutting branch, and leaf, leaving long lines of yellow. Like a highlighter defining important aspects of the written word. 

Beech trees can live two to three hundred years so of course they want a good companion beside them. This particular Beech had a majestic Birch next to him and they’ve been friends for as long as he could remember. Perhaps it was because they looked so similar. Or because they were from the same family of deciduous trees in the near vicinity. They could possibly even be cousins! And it was quite the handsome Birch, mirroring the perfection of the good-looking Beech. Yes, they’ve been friends for many years now.

As for looking similar, they were both very tall and strong. The hikers often confused the two and sometimes couldn’t tell them apart except for certain times of the year. Beech had a smooth, gray bark that resembled the bark of the Birch tree but it didn’t peel off. And in the spring, the Beech tree has male and female tiny flowers that grow on their branches. Absolutely beautiful. Birch was the taller one, growing up to 90 feet. Right now he was at 80 feet and proud of it.

Beech and Birch both had quite a few saplings each year and they loved picking out which one belonged to whom.

The two friends were eagerly watching the saplings mature slowly in the ground, some 80 to 90 feet below them. They were deciding who had more saplings growing.

Beech bragged over his babies. “Look at all my children. I’ll enjoy watching them flourish.”

To which Birch responded, “I’ve just as many as you. I wonder which ones will survive the elements of childhood?”

Then Beech noticed a sapling half hidden behind another tree in front of them. “Hey Birch, can you tell me what kind of sprout that one is? The one that’s hiding like a child under mom’s apron.”

Both trees were very tall and as old as a ribbon candy in grandmas crystal candy dish. They had trouble seeing the sapling to decipher who was the father.

“I see it now Beech. So we need to know if it’s the son of a Beech or the son of a Birch.”

Beech says, “Exactly! I’ve been examining it the best I can but I can’t tell if it’s mine or yours. I need to know! It’s driving me crazy!”

Birch sighed and responded, “You’ll never be content!”

“No, I wont. Not until I know whose baby that is.”

They watched and wondered and surmised over and over which tree was the parent. After what seemed like forever, the Beech and the Birch’s ears perked up when they heard the sound of a nearby Woodpecker.

The very distant sound of a long strong beak, peck, peck, pecking into trees. Sounding like the rat-a-tat-tat of a tommy gun in the forest.

The wind was caught under the Woodpeckers’ wings and he floated easily from tree to tree because of it. He was a spectacular sight with his flaming red chest. So bright it could burn. The smoothness and sheen of his black feathers had the same look as a silk sheet freshly washed and ironed, accentuated by the dazzling white stripes that carouselled his face and neck. He landed on the Beech and hopped to the Birch and back again. They looked at each other with the good fortune of having a Woodpecker so close. Then in an instant he flew away to a nearby tree and started peck, peck, pecking again.

Beech called out, “Hey Woodpecker!”

Birch yelled out a little louder, “Woodpecker, come over her please. We have a very important question for you.”

The gunfire sound stopped and you could hear the woodpecker thinking.  “Ahoy gentlemen, I’m flying your way!”

The two regal trees patiently waited as he flew from Beech branch to Birch branch. And back again.

“Well, Mr. Woodpecker, Sir. We have a question posed in which we need help getting our answer.”

“What is that?”

“You see that sapling down there?”

“That one?”” he pointed with his beautiful wing.

“Yes, that's the one.” Birch replied confidently.

Beech continued, “We need to know if it's a son of a Beech or the son of a Birch. Can you help us?” 

Woodpecker replies, “it would be my pleasure to assist.”

“Oh, you're a good bird, Mr. Woodpecker. Thank you.”

And with that, the Woodpecker grabbed the wind under his wings again and floated effortlessly down to the sapling in question as the waiting trees watched in anticipation. They first heard the peck, peck, pecking of that long strong beak, piercing the exterior of the saplings small trunk. They did not get an answer though. What they did get was more waiting as they continued to listen to the rat- a-tat-tat tat. Peck, peck, pecking that seemed to never cease. Now, trees are very patient by nature, so they politely waited for the Woodpecker. To have the trees patience change into impatience, he really made the trees wait long, because finally both the Beech and the Birch yelled out, “Hey Woodpecker! Tell us already, is it the son of a Beech or the son of a Birch?”

The glistening Woodpecker looked up and replied, “Well, gentlemen. I can tell you right now, it's neither the son of a Beech or the son of a Birch, but it's the best piece of Ash I've ever had my pecker in!

September 17, 2022 01:58

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16 comments

Amanda Lieser
23:53 Sep 28, 2022

Oh my gosh! That final line! It made me smile. I loved the elements of nature and the beautiful imagery of this piece. You did an excellent job!

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T.S.A. Maiven
02:16 Oct 03, 2022

Thank you so much! I enjoyed the wordplay in this one and I love that it made you smile🙂

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Graham Kinross
05:49 Sep 28, 2022

I’m smiling, well done.

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T.S.A. Maiven
02:07 Oct 03, 2022

Hehehe! Mission accomplished! I wanted to make people smile. Thank you.

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Graham Kinross
10:48 Oct 03, 2022

You’re welcome.

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Julius Juryit
12:29 Sep 22, 2022

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M B
15:41 Sep 21, 2022

Okay that was some clever word play. Well done.

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T.S.A. Maiven
10:27 Sep 23, 2022

Thank you! I had fun writing it.

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Tommy Goround
10:29 Sep 19, 2022

Hahahaah

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T.S.A. Maiven
21:54 Sep 19, 2022

That was my goal!! Heheh

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Anne Marie Miles
15:02 Sep 17, 2022

LOL! Nice play on the Son of a Beech/Birch! Very amusing. And a creative approach to the prompt. It seems like you are always trying to think outside the box, as any good and growing writer should! I think some commas could have been added here and there, but overall, nothing too distracting. I enjoyed this line, "The smoothness and sheen of his black feathers had the same look as a silk sheet freshly washed and ironed, accentuated by the dazzling white stripes that carouselled his face and neck." Thanks for sharing! Wishing you smoot...

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T.S.A. Maiven
04:51 Sep 19, 2022

Thank you! I loved that line as well. And you're right. I do my best to think outside the box but writing that way will hardly bring any wins for my writing. I've read every winning story they've posted and it seems I must be more serious and often melancholy to even consider a win! In the meantime I continue posting what comes to me instead of trying to write a "winning " story. Originality is my main goal. Like you said, outside the box. It does help me grow as a writer. I've still lots of work to go when it comes to editing. I simply need...

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Anne Marie Miles
14:03 Sep 19, 2022

I love that you're more focused on improving and just practicing your skill than winning. That will help in the long wrong! Editing is hard for all of us. It's been a delight to read and share. This is my only writing community, so it's been so refreshing and motivational to have other people to discuss with. Happy writing with week!!

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T.S.A. Maiven
21:53 Sep 19, 2022

This is my only writing community as well. I just joined in june and I've been making good connections!

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Anne Marie Miles
03:53 Sep 20, 2022

That's awesome! I forgot how exciting and helpful it is to connect with other writers.

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T.S.A. Maiven
21:43 Sep 20, 2022

thats why i love your feedback. i can tell how sincere you are. (don't mind the grammer in my comment. eating and typing.) lol!

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