this is not an original story, my wife Sonali heard it from a dear friend and told me about it on the drive back home earlier today… I’ve just taken some minor creative freedoms and slightly re-imagined it… so in case you’ve read a similar story elsewhere yes you’re right it’s not an original of mine
which is also why it is password protected and not publicly accessible(de-classified 26/7/21)
In the middle of a sprawling meadow stood a strong old Silver Maple. The tree had been there forever between the crossroads of nowhere and everywhere. It saw everything that went by knew everyone that went past.
Far in the distance a lighthouse painted red and white talked to the tree and every passing ship tooted in greeting to the swaying branches. The tree was a landmark as much as it was a time keeper and a custodian of the lands history.
High above the ground in the tree a Kingfisher couple had made their nest. A nest full of blue eggs. The mother used to spend most of her time sitting on the eggs deep inside the hollow in the trunk. The father went out to fetch fresh fish, prawns and other tasty treats for her to feed upon while she incubated the eggs. The chicks were born in the wee tender hours of the morning of a particularly clear day. One by one they worked their way out of the shells and started fumbling around blindly for their eyes were not open yet. Finally by sunset all five eggs had hatched and what a gorgeous sunset it was. The husband and wife sat cosily at the mouth of the nest and enjoyed the view. While the chirping critters were fast asleep now.
Life went on for the Kingfisher family and after a few days the children were able to come out and sit at the mouth of the nest to look outside. Soon they were all hopping around with gay abandon all over the Silver Maple tree. The neighborhood was full of other bird families and squirrel families. They all had a gala time up in the tree. Until one fine day everyone fell silent and strained to listen.
The farmer along with his son had walked up to the tree in the middle of the meadow and standing under the tree they were talking about some road that was to pass exactly through the tree. The father told his son “we need to remove this tree it’s exactly in the middle of the proposed road. If we do not remove it then we would have to build around it which would cost a lot more“. The baby birds were shocked, where would they go, how would they survive? The mother Kingfisher swooped down to a lower branch to listen clearly. The son, looking at the fat trunk of the tree and the massive spread of it’s branches, said “that’s a huge load of work how do you propose to do this?“. The father walking up to the tree and rubbing the trunk exclaimed “nothing to worry about, I’ll tell the people in the village, maybe even the village headman and they will chop it up and carry it away for kindling“. Both of them sat under the shade and had their meals then went away. Meanwhile the chicks were sitting huddled in the nest shivering with fear. Mom came in whistling in her characteristic manner “chake-ake-ake-ake-ake“. The kids all rushed to her and asked “what’s going to happen? will we all be homeless”. Mommy replied “don’t worry nothing is going to happen“. The kids were not entirely convinced but they agreed that mommy knows best. So they all returned to their activities and soon the overheard conversations were forgotten.
Weeks went by and soon the chicks were undergoing flight training. Jumping off a higher branch, flapping a bit and landing onto the lower branch. It was all good fun and then it was all silent again. The father son duo were again walking up to the tree “whoa the tree is still there” said the son, “Looks like it is isn’t it. These village folks are useless they wont do a simple thing also” said the father. “So what are we going to do about it? The construction crew will be here within the next five weeks. This would be a problem.” the son thought aloud. The chicks and mom were up in the tree listening to the ongoing conversation. The chicks were craning their necks with increasing trepidation. Mamma fisher flew down silently to the lower branch to listen clearly. The father was walking around the tree trying to figure out a solution looking maybe for a button he could press that would just fold up the tree and make it vanish. After a lot of head scratching and futile search for a worm hole the father exclaimed “aah well I’ll tell the relatives, they are coming over for the wedding next week, they will dispose off of this tree in no time”. Up there the chicks let out a collective groan. The father-son duo walked away. Mamma fisher flew up again whistling her characteristic tune chake-ake-ake-ake-ake “don’t worry kiddos nothing’s happening we have time carry on with your practice”. Everyone believed her just like last time and soon the sorties were getting longer and steeper. Flight training was underway in full swing.
A couple of weeks passed by and then another couple of weeks went by. We all know what that meant. Flight training was almost complete and the chicks were now flying around all over the meadow. They were actually in advanced training mode for dive fishing in the nearby creek. Huddled around the lunch table the babies, momma and dad were engrossed in the finer nuances of deciding which end of the prawn to start eating it from when lo and behold the father-son duo again. They all flew down to lower branches to listen intently to the conversation. “Holy smokes, the relatives did not bring it down either, dad this is a catastrophe. What are we doing now?“…. the father didn’t even say anything this time, he just started walking back. The son ran after him. A few minutes later both of them were back with a power saw and other equipment to bring down the tree themselves. Dad finally spoke “Son I guess we have to do it ourselves. Let’s roll up the sleeves and get on with it“. So saying they fired up the power saw and went to work.
Up above on the tree a smiling mother fisher looked at her brood and after a nod directed at daddy fisher and her characteristic call of happiness chake-ake-ake-ake-ake she flew off, followed closely by the five perfectly well trained chicks and daddy fisher brought up the rear… Into the sunset they flew to the new house they had built nearer the creek.
Back at the silver maple tree the father son duo finished their job, cleaned up the place and loaded all the timber into the heavy lifter forklift they had called a friend to bring in earlier in the day. They had learnt a valuable lesson, If you want it done, do it yourself. Yes people will come to help you but you have to be there to start the fire first.