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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1542592-The-Big-Tree
by GShan9
Rated: E · Short Story · Family · #1542592
Big Oak tree blocks kids on school bus from returning home the usual route. True story.
The Big Tree

by GShan9

My 10 year-old daughter had quite a little adventure for a kid coming home from school yesterday afternoon.  About 15 minutes before the school bus was to arrive in bringing her home from 4th grade yesterday afternoon (about 1/10th of a mile from our street's bus stop) the school bus had to stop in the middle of the road.  The huge oak tree blocked both lanes of traffic!  My daughter and a little boy, a neighbor, got off the bus and had to literally climb over the big trunk and branches in order to get to our street and come home from school.

She thought it was the coolest thing in the world!  This enormous tree, which we used to drive by often on the way to the grocery store, or school, or church, had suddenly decided to "cash in it's (wood) chips" and die.  The young green spring leaves had sprouted about only a couple of weeks ago, right after a freak snowstorm had dumped 3 inches of snow in Alabama.  There was no great wind, no storm.  The roots did not give way.  The tree had had multiple, rather large trunks and one not far above ground had suddenly given way, and the tree suddenly fell, crashing with a shattering and splintering of wood when the huge trunk crashed into the pavement in the middle of the two-lane street.

She came home excitedly, "Mama, guess what just happened?  The BEST thing in the WHOLE UNIVERSE for a kid!  I had to climb over this BIG tree that fell in the middle of the road!"  It wasn't far from the end of our street, about 1/10th of a mile from her usual bus stop.  I got in the car, and drove it to the end of our block.  You could see the tree from her bus stop.  So I parked on the curb, and walked with her up to the tree, taking pictures with my cell phone.

She started climbing on the huge trunk, laying horizontal to the ground in a most unusual position for a tree to be.  I called the Department of Transportation to report it.  A few minutes later a police cruiser pulled up and parked diagonally in the middle of the road to be a visible block for approaching traffic.  A couple of minutes later a DOT truck, with a large metal claw used to pick up large branches and place them in the back of the truck arrived.  One man with a chain saw, got out, and started cutting up the poor, dying tree.  It took about two hours for him to finish clearing the road and loading up the branches.  It's new spring green growth still glistened as if it were still healthy and growing.  I was surprised that there were no roots that had been pulled up by a large wind.  The huge trunk split from it's roots a little bit above ground, where the trunk had joined the main trunk.  It was probably weakened by water getting in between the trunks during all the recent heavy rains.  The weight of the tree was too much stress for the water-soaked trunk to bear anymore, I guess?

A few feet away from the tree along the roadside edge there was a brown and white tuft of fur.  It was a deer tail.  Just the tail, no more.  About a month or two earlier a deer had been hit by a car (probably late at night?) along the roadside.  The carcass had lain on the right side (the opposite side) of the road, at the edge of the forest, just before the curve in the road.  I guess the tail crossed the road with the help of local buzzards, or vultures dining on road venision?  Just another day on the edge of the woods down south in Alabama.  Life, (and traffic) goes on, and so do school buses.

The End

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