How I Became Part Boy Part Tree

As a child you often have foolish thoughts to how the world works.  A precocious curiosity feeds into inferences that may not always be correct.  I often would skip a few evolutionary steps in the thought process and jump to my own conclusions.  One such case occurred when I was about 5 years old.

In the front yard of my house stood a big gnarly oak.  It had limbs shooting out to the sides and stretching upwards towards the sky.  Making a perfect tree fort, club house, or simple jungle gym, we found our daily afternoons amuck in some scenario where we would be climbing all over it.  Whether running to make she countdown of the spaceship blasting off from mars or taking refuge in the shielding leaves that protected us from opposing fire in a gun battle the tree was paramount to any game we played.  As young children tend to do, we got very caught up in whatever tale was spun for that day and would be going full bore the entire time.  In short order we would be passed out on the lawn, shaded by the plumage of the tree, mouth gasping for breath.  That is how the whole mess first started.

catkin

As is the cyclical nature, the oak tree has began to shed its flowers in the late spring into early summer breeze and the catkin, as I would later come to find out they were called, would fall almost like snow with a strong enough gust.  Laying beneath the branches, gulping for air, I laid primed and ready for a well placed bombardment of petals right into my mouth.  That is exactly what happened, and instinctively, as I choked on the foreign object that had set down in my gullet, I swallowed.

Now set in the panic.  A flower bud, and not just any flower bud, but that of a giant oak tree was heading to my stomach.  What should I do, what could I do?  My adolescent mind began racing about what would happen to me.  Obviously having swallowed the flower bud the tree would act similarly to if it were planted in the ground.  How long would it be until I started to feel the roots taking hold before they started poking through my skin?   How long until a branch grew up through my throat and I couldn’t speak or breath anymore.  Would I survive to become planted in the ground or would a doctor be able to shear me like a landscaper whenever my plumage grew too much?  All these thoughts rushed through my head, not one being that I would be alright and not become some version of Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy.

What possibly could I do at that point.   I couldn’t tell my parents because they would be so made at me for eating something I shouldn’t and in turn turning into a treeboy.  Could I try to drink some weed killer and hopefully kill the flower before blooming, thank god I was smart enough to know the perils of that back then.  My decision became one of inaction.  I would wait and see.  Maybe I could be a rare lucky case where the tree wouldn’t grow and I could go to the grave with what had happened.  For the next few months and even sporadically up to a year later, any sign of tummy trouble sent me into a paranoid death scenario.  Ok, this was it, the tree has grown big enough and is coming to wreck it’s havoc.  Pretty soon I’ll have unmistakable branches breaching from my guts and in no time leaves would lace my body.  Thank goodness after a while the fear would subside and I would continue on, hiding my secret of being half boy half oak tree.

 

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