PREVIOUS NEXT FIRST Me, And The Leafless Tree, I passed a leafless tree...

Me, And The Leafless Tree.
van Gogh's Thatched Cottage At Cordeville
I passed a leafless tree.

Soon, as I walked on (a little)
on my walk... the Leafless Tree passed me!

Of course, I did not immediately
recognize IT as the same Leafless Tree
I had just passed:

"It couldn't be!" I thought in shock.

Thinking it very likely
that IT must be... another
as leafless a tree
as the other (one)
I simply ignored IT as IT passed by me:

I pranced along and pranced along...
until the second I had turned the corner.

Then I ran AND ran
to leave that (maybe)
other Leafless Tree behind.

Yet --there-- standing
almost in front of me,
as if IT had been waiting for me
all along (especially),
around that corner now...
what do you think I see?

"The very same Leafless Tree!"

Was IT the same one, though?
Might IT not be (simply)
some other tree
just as leafless as the Leafless Tree
I had just gone by... recently?

Could there really be
two trees both so very nearly
exactly (alike)... and that leafless?

"Possibly... possibly!"

One wouldn't, of course, expect me
to go all the way back to
where I had thought I'd gone
by IT before just to confirm this
or to deny IT.

"Now, would one?!"

Naturally, naturally... "No!"

So I very politely
tipped my head at IT.
And IT tipped a branch at me!

That was enough to send me
rushing off... all the way
clear to The Following Street (of course).

* * *

And yet no sooner am I
at The Following Street
than most, most suddenly --there--
standing in front of me: "Oh no!
IT just couldn't be! IT COULD NOT BE!"

Yes IT could, for --there--
stood that ole Leafless Tree
again, as if IT had been patiently
waiting for me all this time!

IT scared me so much
that I ran and I ran AND
I ran (off)... certainly as fast
and as far as I had to...
to be sure this time I had finally
left IT behind (me)
and for good and all!

"Huff! Huff! Huff!!"

And yet, again (and once again)...
ever and ever more: Behind a mailbox,
right there, here, or out by
the donut shop, many and many times more,
always, over and over (and over):

There are we still, always us both,
me AND the Leafless Tree...

Back at the bus stop,
or smack dab in front of
Mister Granger's Garage's door:

I chewing gum, IT shooing bees.
I sipping tea, maybe (and IT
strictly mud), but... every last place
that I run to, every last time
--without fail:

"Oh, no! Oh, no! There's IT!"

I cannot even move a whit
without IT stepping on a toe
(of mine, most normally), or IT
trying to take root
of wherever I happen to go (or be).

"Oh!" IT is just everywhere!
"How very distressing!"
Whenever whoever may look at me,
he/or/she only sees me
in the company
of that ole Leafless Tree!

IT is like my shadow!

Almost i-den-ti-cal-ly
like... my twin! Like two eyes
on the very same face
(on the very same head):
If but ANYONE sees me, then
every last other one (also)
most likely must see me AND
that just everywhere, everywhere
(always and always presently)
present ole Leafless Tree!


It HAD to be that I was simply
mistaken, and IT wasn't THE
same Leafless Tree at all
(following me so AND following me...
like some flea-ridden dog
and all of its dog-riding fleas),
after all...

However, taking a closer look
at IT: Yes!

"How very unfortunate!"

For IT was, and always (and
) is: THE very same
Leafless Tree I have been
(not always so very cheerfully)
passing by--now some one hundred
hundred times (times
three, fifty, or more... maybe).
At least, now,
that's how IT looked to me:


It is SO rather awkward
to be seen being followed
by some dumb Leafless Tree
all over town like that
I almost immediately
made up my mind (right then
and there) to just chop IT down
once and for all!

However, the ole Leafless Tree
first... fell on me!
(And, that was the end of my walk.)

"Oh, well, I do suppose
it must be nearly as awkward
(and especially for a Leafless Tree)
to be seen being followed like that
all over town... by me."

And yet, surprisingly:
"I did not fall on you because
I thought you were following me!"
said the ole Leafless Tree to me
(quite suddenly) suddenly talking:
"I fell on you because you
were about to chop me down!"

"Oh! That!" That was certainly
embarrassing! Frankly, I never
gave much thought to IT at all.

"You weren't following me?" I asked
the now very talkative ole
Leafless Tree (very tentatively).

And, "Why should I follow you!?!"
IT talked right back--like that:
"Of course not: I don't even know you!"

"You mean we do not know
each other?" I humbly asked IT.

And, "Know each other!?"
the ole Leafless Tree (very abruptly)
shrieked so shookt IT would have lost
ITs leaves--had IT been wearing any:

"Oh, positively," IT formally announced
to me: "We do not even know OURSELVES!"

"Oh, my!"

Although I never would have expected
to see (philosophy!) sprouting
out of a tree, even one as leafless
as that one (was), still, it was
all very true enough:

So, obviously, I apologized,
by the whole thing mesmerized,
quite, quite, quite...

"Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!"

"That's quite all right!" said the
ole (gentlemanly) Leafless Tree,
"No doubt it was simply a mistake:
Let's forget all about it!"

At all times ITs stand
seeming to be only a most wooden:
"No harm done!" IT spoke (and spoke):
"You go your way... I will go mine."

Then that most heavily Leafless Tree
simply got off (of me), dusted ITs beeches
and went on ITs way, a bit miffed, maybe,
but quite generally okay

( I'd say )

Ever and ever, as IT was going,
goodbye-ing and goodbye-ing (me)
with all of ITs dozens and dozens
AND dozens of limbs:

"Goodbye! Goodbye! Goodbye! Goodbye!"

As for me, "What a long day!"
that whole long day
had been... up to then!

"Oh! So long," (of a long day) IT
soon had me yawning and falling asleep!
For the day had become rather late
by the time IT had finished goodbye-ing...
goodbye-ing with all of ITs numberless,
numberless bows, boughs and branches--

And, dazed as I was, by the end,
everything had become much later,
and later... and later still now
as we speak!

So I too headed home, after IT,
feeling somewhat okay, and,
even a bit embarrassed frankly
(maybe). Although (surely)
a lot more miffed
about not having thought better of IT

( I'd say )

All the same, all the time,
always bowing (and bowing)
along with that finally leaving ole tree...

While goodnight-ing, goodnight-ing
(IT) with all of my own
(only two) gracious limbs:

So, "Goodnight!" {Right Hand.}

And, "Goodnight!" {Left Hand.}

Goodnight! {The End.}

^{128} { Here the illustrator must fill the gap not covered in the text: Our hero spots an axe on a neighbor's yard, and it gives him the idea of chopping down the Leafless Tree. But as soon as he goes to get the axe, the Leafless Tree realizes what he intends to do with it... and falls on our hero. } [This work is the basis for my other "children's stories."] @