Trees

“Can the trees talk, Pappa?”

His innocent face was frowning, dark honey coloured eyes staring at me from underneath his brows.

I looked down.

Sunlight streamed through the canopy, lighting the green grass tussocks at our feet.

“Well…”

I hesitated, arthritic hands on the weeding implement that I had been using. Crouching down next to my Grandson, I was now at eye level.

“Maybe. Why do you ask?”

“Because when the wind blows through their leaves, I can hear whispers. I was wondering if it was the trees talking.”

We were in my back yard, out near where the garden became the forest. Little Dylan had followed me out and was now accompanying me as I weeded this section of yard.

There was something magical to my little Grandson about the natural world where I lived. He never ceased to dream and wonder about the land around us.

This was his most recent question.

“The trees tell each other stories, much like how I tell you stories.”

“What do they talk about?”

My knees felt stiff, so I stood up. Dylan stepped back, grasping my fingers and trying to help. I gently pushed him away.

This one I had to think about, or else I’d be in trouble. My daughter in law didn’t believe in playing make believe, and I was walking a fine line.

In the distance, a loud deisel engine sounded, growling even louder as it roared up the hill before our driveway.

The sound died down as the car braked in front of the family house. A screen door slammed, as voices greeted each other. And then my wife and Sally appeared on the back step to the yard.

“Mummy,” cried Dylan, his old Pappa forgotten now that his mother was present. He ran to her side, throwing his arms around her legs.

“The trees tell each other stories, Mum.”

Sally kissed him on the forehead as she picked him up.

“Do they really?”

I held my breath.

But today, she was smiling.

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