A Hard Days Week At The EveryGreens

You know, its amazing how bad things can get, and how quickly they can get that way.  And sometimes its even more amazing how quickly they can change back with a different point of view.  That pretty well sums up the week at the NormalTrees.  But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself here.

It all started out pretty normal Monday morning as Elmer got up from the breakfast table, kissed Maple on the cheek and headed out the front door on his way to the Oxygen Plant.  A few seconds later, Maple heard Elmer yell and say a bunch of bad words, which was really unlike him.  This was followed by a loud thump and a groan.  Rushing to the door, she saw Elmer laying flat on his back, struggling to get up.  As she helped him up, he gasped that he really wished Chip would remember to put his skate tree away and not leaf it on the sidewalk.  Maple agreed, sympathized, brushed off his backside bark, and assuring herself Elmer was all right, watched him hobble off to the Oxygen factory.

Making a mental note to talk to Chip right then, she headed back into the house, only to hear the phone ring.  Answering it, she heard the owner of the Barkazon Modeling Agency tell her he was sorry to say, but little Cherry had been modeling on a platform for TeenTree magazine and fallen off and broken her limb.  Maple, duly worried, rushed to the clinic where Cherry was being treated.

Walking in, she saw Cherry with her little limb in a hot pink cast.  Cherry seemed to be taking this all in stride, so they headed back home.  A few hours later, Maple began sneezing ozone, which is a sure sign she was coming down with a cold.  Drinking some hot barley soup helped a little. She remembered wryly that if you treat a cold it will go away in a week, but untreated, it will take about seven days.  That day and the next she felt worse and worse as she helped Cherry and Elmer cope with their injuries.  To add to her troubles, Chip was seeing how much attention Cherry was getting with her cast and was telling his parents he thought he’d broken his entire trunk, hoping to get a better cast than Cherry’s, and more attention too.

Maple was not fooled but this was yet another distraction in her bad week and on top of it all, it was becoming hard to get Chip to walk DogWood because he kept insisting he was injured.

Finally, Maple just leashed DogWood up herself and took him out but this proved to be a mistake because DogWood took off running, stopped, hiked his back limb up, and did a really bad thing all over their kind old neighbor Mr. FredWood.  Even though he took it well, Maple felt horrible for the next two days.     Finally, as she was about to get over the DogWood incident,  the doorbell rang.  At wits end, she opened the door and Woody stuck his foot in between the jamb and the screen and started his 100 mile an hour insurance sales pitch.  Maple was just about to lose it when Elmer arrived, back from a hard day at the Oxygen plant.

When Woody saw him limping with a scowl on his face, he decided he could sell insurance another day and split.

That Friday evening all was crabby around the supper table.  Cherry was whining about her arm, to get attention.  Chip kept insisting he’d broken his trunk.  Maple kept sneezing ozone all over everybody and Elmer kept shifting around in his chair because his backside was still sore.

Picking up the evening paper, he casually gazed across the front page, and then, he noticed a little headline down in the lower right hand corner that read SAD FOR SISSY SAPLING.  The article went on to say a little girl sapling about Cherry’s age from the poor side of the tracks had some kind of rare heartwood problem.  The article continued that Tree Surgeons weren’t sure if it was terminal or not, and were conducting final test results to be reviewed in a few more days.

The article really hit home to Elmer as he looked over at Cherry.  And a funny thing happened about then.  Elmer noticed his backside didn’t seem to pain him nearly so much anymore.

He figured little Sissy Saplings father would be happy to trade problems with him.  Shoot, he figured, Sissy’s father would be happy to take all their problems for his.

And so Elmer did a wise fatherly thing and began to read the story out loud to his tree family.  One by one they fell silent, and when he finished there wasn’t a sound in the house.  Even DogWood was looking hangdog and not wagging his tail.

Pretty soon, Cherry began to feel no pain in her cast encased limb, and Chip began to think maybe his trunk was okay after all.  Even Maple stopped sneezing ozone and started breathing normally.  It’s not known what DogWood did differently, but hey, four out of five ain’t bad to prove my point here which is the NormalTrees remembered something very important about life that Friday evening.

It was that things can always be worse, things are probably better than you think, and your attitude really makes a difference.

A little Sissy Sapling from the poor side of the forest had reminded the NormalTrees that life is a gift to be savored.  Everyone slept well that evening and things were very normal at the NormalTrees for many weeks to come.

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