The Old Maple and Me

It's always been there, the old maple. The biggest tree in our little farm woods is that old maple. It has its legends and it has survived now more than a century of which we are certain. And I've watched the old maple grow older just as have I.

It was once so dominant that other trees nearby stood only by its whim as its shade slowed their growth. It had a multitude of low branches within my memory, and from one of those branches once was hanged a horse thief, or so the legend says. The horse thief and his branch are now long gone, long ago.

The old maple now has but one low branch, and it will soon be gone with the others. The trunk is scarred and rather sorrowful having withstood all those decades of punishment from the elements, and from those that lived within its canopy. The canopy is now so small and withered that other trees nearby now taunt the old master with their height and youthful energy.

I remember the bobcat on one of the low branches. The bobcat watched Dad and I wonder at how it found the old maple. It stayed awhile, just as did all the other creatures - the squirrels and the raccoons and the multitude of birds now long gone, long ago.

The old maple's days are numbered now, just as are mine. It will survive me, and it will give memories still as it lives out its end. Soon enough the sentinel crow will give its alarm from another tree. And then there will be no memories of the old maple or me one day, as we become long gone, long ago.