Based on 'The Tree', an Original Short Story by L.F.Tallis
for the Prose competition Order of Bards Ovates and Druids.
Adapted for Machinima Film by Celestial Elf.
The Tree stands alone in the middle of the field, it’s been there since time began, so the legend goes.....
The farmer grumbles at the tree and raises his fist, as he does every year.
“Damn tree! I will have to plough around you again, as every year, tomorrow I will cut you down and be done with you.”
The tree's leaves rustle in the wind and the branches sway.
“Be a pity to cut the tree down don’t you think.”
The farmer stops the plough
“Who said that” the farmer shouts, “Show yourself. ”
The farmer turns around and he sees the man, standing just behind him, at the back of his plough, a man he’s never seen before.
The farmer notices that the man is strangely dressed all in green.
He’s wearing a dark green jacket and light green trousers, and on his head a round hat with leaves on the top.
The farmer asks again,
“Who are you and what are you doing in my field?”
The man looks up at the farmer.
“So this is your field?” and then he gives the farmer a bow.
“Yes and my fathers and his fathers before him, for as long as I can remember and it will be my sons after me.”
The man looks at the tree.
“So this tree has grown here all that time, and no ones cut it down before.”
The man sits down on a big root that is growing out of the tree, above the ground.
The farmer climbs down from his plough.
“There is a silly folk legend, but I don’t believe in such silly notions,” the farmer says as he walk over to the man all dressed in green.
The man reaches into his jacket pocket and takes out a pie.
“A legend,” he says as he then takes a knife out of his other pocket, and cuts the pie in half.
“So pray tell me of this legend,” the man asks the farmer, as he offers the farmer half of his pie.
The farmer is hungry, he’s been working in the field since sunrise and hasn’t had time for breakfast yet, so he accepts the offer.
“Thank you,” and he sits down beside the man in green and takes a big bite of the pie.
Now he’s never tasted such a pie, after every bit he feels full of energy,
“This pie is so good..” he says as he wipes his mouth.
The man looks at the farmer and just smiles, and asks the farmer again about the legend, “Apparently the tree, has a Spirit Guardian that protects it, that’s all I know ” the farmer replies.
The man reaches out and touches the old tree trunk,
the farmer continues talking,
“Haven’t really taken any notice or listened to the story's, just a silly myth past down from one generation to the next.”
The man in green is still touching the tree trunk,
“This tree looks very old, do you know how old it is ?”
The farmer looks at the tree, now he’s never really done that before, it has lots of old scars and crags,..
“No and I don’t really care ”the farmer stands up and gives the tree a kick,
“the tree is coming down tomorrow, and that will be the end of the silly stories.”
The farmer looks at his watch,
“Well I have to go, bye and thank you for the pie.”
The man in green now stops rubbing the old tree and looks at the farmer.
“Glad you liked it, I will be passing here again tomorrow, so I will see you,… unless you change your mind about cutting the tree down.”
The farmer shakes his head,
“No, it’s had its last day” then he climbs onto the plough.
“Then I’ll see you tomorrow ” the man in green says as he walks behind the tree, as the farmer drives back to the farmyard.
Ring Ring, Ring Ring, the alarm goes of its 3 am, the farmer gets up dresses, and goes down stairs, by the back door is the axe he sharpened last night ready to cut the tree down today.
He picks up the axe and goes outside and makes his way over to the field, and to the tree in the middle, as he approaches he see the man leaning against the tree.
“Good morning such a lovely day,” the man says, looking at the axe in the farmers hand, “Is that the axe to cut the tree down with?”
The farmer nods
“Yes and it wont take me long... ” he says as he walks up to the tree,
The man moves away from the tree,
“Are you really going to cut it down, no way I can change your mind?”
The man looks at the tree then back at the farmer,
“No, just keep out of my way or you may get struck by my axe!”
The farmer makes a mark on the trunk, ready for the axe to hit, then he raises the axe and takes a swing at the tree, the tree shudders under the blow which takes out a chunk of bark.
The man in green turns red just for a moment, the farmer hasn’t notice as he raising the axe up for another swing at the tree.
The man in green puts his hand on the farmers shoulder,
“Have you eaten yet ?” he asks,
“No not yet...” replied the farmer as he lowers the axe.
“Then have some of my pie, the Tree can wait for a few more minutes, I made it just for you.”
The farmer puts down the axe and takes the pie, it smells so good, he takes a big bite, then another.
The man just watches as he eats up all the pie.
“How was it ?” the man asks.
The farmer licks his lips
“So good, every bite has a different taste, pork, beef, chicken I could eat more.”
So the man offers him his half.
“Then have my half too, I’m not hungry.”
The farmer eats every crumb,
“Thank you, I feel so full of life! ”
The man in green gives the farmer a strange look.
“You still have time to change your mind, do you really need to cut the tree down ?” he waits for a reply,
but the farmer doesn’t answer, he just picks up the axe, then he raises it up high and strikes the tree.
As he strikes the tree, the man turns red and speaks
“That was the second blow to the Tree.”
The farmer looks at the tree,…..
“Yes and now its going to be three,” as the axe hits the tree a cry is heard from the farmers mouth,
The farmer tries to run, but he is rooted to the spot, the axe is wrenched out of his hands by the big tree-root and thrown far away.
“You really should have listened to the legend ” the green man says, the farmer can only look on, as the root rises up and entwines around his waist and lifts him off the ground.
The farmer shouts,
“Help me, Help me ” to the man.
The man looks up,
“You hurt yourself, I can’t help you.”
The farmer sobs
“How did I?”
The man continues,
“Why, with every blow you struck to the old tree, was to yourself, as this is the tree of life.”
Then at this the tree root rose up and then plunged down deep into the earth with the farmer tightly in its grasp, and disappears.
The man looks down at the ground with a sad look on his face.
“They never listen ” then he turns and slowly walks into the tree,
the leaves rustle just for a moment and then are silent.
Legend of the tree
I am the tree of life my time is endless,
I have no beginning and I have no end.
Standing here in this field, there is only one of me.
Beware all that try to destroy me, for I am all Life, Green is the man that my spirit lives in.
Twice I will give you pardon, Twice you can walk away.
Twice I will give you life, But heed this warning...
Thrice you will end your life.
The moral of this story is that every action you take can and will have a bearing on your life and others around.
The Importance of Trees;
Trees are the largest and longest living organisms on The Earth, important in so many physical, ecological, environmental, psychological and spiritual ways since time immemorial.
Whilst Northern Europe was once covered in Trees and Forests, that it is no-longer so makes all the more pressing our need for many reasons to protect and cherish those Trees, Woods and Forests that we still have.
On a wider world basis, the Ecological significance of Trees is so important for everyone's continued well-being and life, as although the Trees now occupy less than 6 per cent of the land surface of The Earth, they sustain more than half of its biological life forms.
The rising tide of human needs by way of crop foods and of crops for food animals, along with a seemingly endless push to pave over paradise, to re-purpose previously wooded and forest lands is leading to the degradation of the environment and the extinction of many species. There is a real danger that in the not too distant future mankind will destroy a large proportion of the essential diversity of species on The Earth, creating an uninhabitable environment which will lead to an extinction event for humanity. This is not quite as bleak as it may sound because massive extinctions have occurred before and may occur again. The Earth will in time hopefully recover and new species emerge to fill the gaps left by those who have gone before....
Towering manmade structures dubbed 'Super-trees' partially block Singapore's financial skyline. Ranging from 82 to 164 feet tall(25 to 50 meters), the concrete 'trees' are actually vertical gardens covered in tropical flowering climbers, ferns, and epiphytes—nonparasitic plants that grow without soil, using other plants or objects for support. The Supertrees are part of the Gardens by the Bay, a government effort to bring a sampling of the national gardens into the city center. When the site is complete, it will host 18 Supertrees covered in more than 200 species and varieties of plant life.
In the simplest, physical perspective, some of the incredible and complex ways that The Trees sustain our lives and world include;
Trees Produce Oxygen. One mature Tree may produce as much oxygen as ten people breathe in one year. In every Tree, the process of 'breathing' takes place in the leaf. Chlorophyll which gives leaves their green coloration, absorbs CO2 gasses in the Air which is chemically and cleanly processed and then released as Oxygen though its pores.
Trees Clean The Air. By intercepting airborne particles, reducing heat, and absorbing pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide, Trees remove this air pollution by lowering air temperature, through their respiration, and by retaining particulates
Trees Clean the Soil. By absorbing dangerous chemicals and other pollutants, Trees both store harmful pollutants and also change some of these into less harmful forms. Trees filter sewage and farm chemicals, reduce the effects of animal wastes, clean roadside spills and clean water runoff into streams.
Trees in Towns and Cities Reduce Noise Pollution. By absorbing and muffling the increasing range of intrusive and unnatural noises created by the Eco-adversarial machines with which we surround our lives, Trees make our lives in modern urban masses more manageable.
Trees Counter Soil Erosion. Erosion control has always started with tree and grass planting projects. Tree roots bind the soil and their leaves break the force of wind and rain on soil. Trees fight soil erosion, conserve rainwater and reduce water runoff and sediment deposit after storms.As can be seen now in parts of Africa, where the local environment has lost its topsoil due to removal of 'useless Trees' and over farming over generations, the replanting of such Trees will eventually facilitate a build up of valuable topsoil and subsequently be suitable for farming once again.
Trees are Carbon Sinks. This means that as The Tree produces its food, it absorbs and locks away carbon dioxide in the wood, roots and leaves. Carbon dioxide is a global warming suspect. A Forest is a carbon storage area or a 'Sink' that can lock up as much carbon as it produces. This locking-up process stores carbon as wood which is therefore not available as a 'greenhouse' gas with all the attendant ecological environmental problems that that entails.
In terms of The Tree's Religious and Spiritual context, Trees have been part of pagan worship and magical workings since our distant ancestors. According to the Roman Authors Lucan and Pomponius Mela, the Gaulish Celts worshiped in groves of Trees, a practice which Tacitus and Dio Cassius say was also found among the Celts of Britain. (Strabo Geographica XII, 5, I).
For the ancient Celts, the Yew Tree was a symbol of immortality and in general Trees acted as symbols of renewal. A Tree scarred by lightning was identifies as The Tree Of Life and according to Pliny, the ancient Druids believed that mistletoe grew in these Trees struck by lightning.Druids preformed rituals and ceremonies in groves of sacred Oak Trees and also believed, it is thought, that the interior of the Oak Tree was the abode of the dead.
Majesty, The Fredville Oak, Kent
In the Norse Religion, The World Tree is called Yggdrasil, usually thought to be a very sacred, giant Yew or Ash Tree with leaves that extend into the heavens and three roots delving into the lower worlds. A Dragon lives among its roots, an Eagle among its branches, and four Stags live around it’s base and eat the leaves. The Tree is an important location in Norse mythology not only because of its central location in the universe and the creatures that live among it, but also because of many important events which occur there. The existence of nine worlds around Yggdrasil is mentioned more than once in the Old Norse sources, they could either exist one above the other or be grouped around the tree and there are references to worlds existing beneath the tree, while the gods are pictured as in the sky and of a rainbow bridge (Bifrost) connecting the tree with other worlds.
The Worlds or Realms of Yggdrasil are as follows;
The Upper Level
Asgard – At the very top of Yggdrasil, home of two races of Gods, the Aesir and the Vanir.
Vanaheim –The Vanir lived in this realm while they were at war with the Aesir. Since the Gods made peace, the Vanir have lived in Asgard.
Alfheim – The land of the light elves.
The Middle Level
Midgard – This is the realm that we all know, the land of Earth and mankind. There is a bridge of a rainbow between Midgard and Asgard, called Bifrost.
Jotenheim – An icy land of the frost giants.
Nidavellir – Realm of the dwarves.
Svartalfheim – Land of dark elves.
Muspelheim – The fire giants live here, and it is one of these giants that will set the world ablaze at Ragnarok.
The Lower Level
Niflheim – The roots of Yggdrasil emerge in this cold and dark underworld. The goddess Hel rules here, from her hall Eljudnir. Sometimes this realm is actually called Hel, and some sources consider Niflheim and Hel to be two distinct lands of the underworld.
The generally accepted meaning of Yggdrasil is 'Odin's horse' because Odin sacrificed himself by hanging from the Tree to learn wisdom, leading the Tree to also be called Odin's gallows.
Related to Yggdrasil, accounts have survived o f Germanic Tribes honouring sacred trees within their societies. Examples include Thor's Oak, Sacred Groves, the Sacred tree at Uppsala, and the wooden Irminsul pillar.
Roots of Yggdrasil by Fabian Jimenez
Trees are essential to our well-being in so many different ways from the physical to the spiritual and if we value the quality of our life on The Earth, we would do well to protect and cherish them.
Blessed Be The Tree ~