Well, it be that time of season it be. Last month the turkeys quaked at their fate, this month the Christmas trees. Yes, it be that time of year again, go on out and kill a Christmas tree!
Up here we have tree farms that raise fir trees specifically for that sole purpose to be slaughtered after years of tender, loving care by the hand of strangers with laughing children wielding axes. I tell ya!
Me wife and kids had gone Christmas shopping and I was by meself outside walking the dog. I had waved at me neighbour below and he came up and asked me what I had planned for the day. I told him nothing much and he asked if I'd like to help him with the family Christmas tree. I hesitated, but felt like I had no choice, so I put me dog up and drove on down and followed him and his kiddos to the tree farm.
The wee ones were all excited and carrying axes as I followed the merry family out into the tree fields where they went about the selection process. It was like Sophie's Choice the way they stood there talking out loud discussing the merits or non merits of a few select trees. I was wondering what the trees thought of all that being rooted to the spot and unable to pick up their lower branches and flee!
"Oh daddy, look at that one, it's got branches all around, no holes in it, THAT'S THE ONE!" And wham with the axe, cutting deeply into the lower trunk, the sap glistening in the sunlight blinding one as the life force runs out like dripping molasses and then another WHAMMO and chips of wood flying everywhere! I could just imagine the tree screaming, HELP THIS WEE PERSON IS KILLING ME! DON'T JUST STAND THERE LOOKING HORRIFIED, STOP HER!
I had to look away from the quaking branches that I knew were shaking with fear and angst. Can no one do something to stop this I thought. But no, that small tyke had her a tree and now the big man, daddy, was finishing the job by lobbing off the trunk from its base and Santa's your gift giver and it was done. I wanted to cry at the inhumanity.
I looked down filled with sad remorse at the felled tree that just moments before was smiling in the sunlight, looking beautiful, and now reduced to a silent, not moving pile of needles and wood. Oh the tragedy of it all!
With no formality the poor dead thing was lifted onto the sleigh and tied down, the final humiliation! But it did not end there, as soon as we got to the parking lot a worker came and untied it, shook the poor thing out, gave a price and then into a machine that netted the poor tree to look no longer fluffy and fine, but like a stick encased in a cocoon of mesh plastic.
Up it was hauled onto the top of the car! Not even a last consideration to be IN the car, it was placed on TOP of it and again, now skinny as a stick lashed to the vehicle tightly. I followed in me treeless Saturn and watched the poor thing tied to the top of the roof of the car in front. It shook with terror it was not cushioned to each pothole we hit, no it was crushed to the top of the car and the wind was pulling at it, needles flying. Oh my God the heartache!
When we got to the abode the children were jumping up and down like this was a great thing, the death of a Christmas tree. Yes, they wanted to decorate the corpse. Yes, they did, they couldn't get inside fast enough and I will say because it was in the netting it seemed they took no care at all. Down it was thrown to the hard frozen ground, tears hit me eyes at the sight. The netting was clipped off with no regard to a few fingertips, I mean branches going with it.
Then it was dragged, yes R. Linda dragged inside and placed in a holder that had screws that tore the wooden flesh to keep it upright. Water with BLEACH was put in the well where the cut limb sat and I had to think, ouch that must sting. I was told the bleach PRESERVES the tree so it doesn't shed it's needles too quickly. They even got wire they attached to the branches to hold it upright. The wires constricted around the tiny branches and affixed to teeny hooks in the ceiling. Oh this was like a crucifixion.
I had to turn away as they got strings and strings of lights and they threw those on the poor thing as if to give it life, electric life I suppose. Then they put tinsel garland in hills and valleys within the tree, and then they put heavy ornaments that meant something to each child of which there were three! Then came the creme de la creme the placing of a tree topper on the one lonely and gnarled branch that was at the very top, the head of the tree! This was an old world Santa Claus and he looked heavy. No angel, no a Santa -- the symbol of commercial shoppers everywhere. The poor thing couldn't see for the Santa topper! What is the world coming to I ask ya.
It was too much for me, I had to turn away. They weren't finished though, no they got a tree skirt to cover the butcher job at the base of the tree. Yes, they covered their brutal work up. Then a few gifts were put under and it was declared done.
The hot cocoa was brought out and they sat around admiring their dead tree as they played Christmas carols in the background! Music R Linda! They were playing happy music to a nearly dead tree. I was sobbing profusely by that time.
I do wonder what the poor little guy be thinking tucked away in a corner, weighted down with lights and heavy ornaments, humans shoving presents underneath him, trying to trip him up so he can't leave that corner. Sigh.
So get your boots on and get out there and kill a Christmas tree. You know you wanna do it. Just don't tell me you did the deed.
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