Renewing Tree Growth

The song of the trees played in my ears the whole way home. I kept being reminded of that old woman’s face, illuminated by cracks of moonlight in the darkness. The grave way that she had watched the cursed tree. The feeling of the roots pulsating under my fingertips.

I had given her my word, and that was the one thing I had in life.

It wouldn’t be an easy task to get the curse lifted. The garden had long fallen into disrepair. Undergrowth was thick and it would be near impossible to make it to the heart of the grove at present. The first step would be removing tree stumps close to the outer edges of the garden, in order to manage the root of the problem.  

I gathered only the best experts in tree management. The professionals who had years of experience in stump removal, who would leave no part of the root system behind. I had taken heed of the woman’s word. There was no chance I was going to even leave a seed of doubt that the curse would regrow.

The day came that the tree was to be removed. The night before, the music in the grove had been the loudest I had ever heard. It hurt to the point where I had to cover my ears. The trees knew they were losing one of their own. It was a final goodbye. 

After the tree fell, the music stopped. The healing began. Spotty leaves and sap-leaking trunks began to vanish. The garden was flourishing. I took the time off of my usual adventures to care for it as it healed. As summer came, I got experts in pruning ornamental pear trees (Melbourne had a wealth of tree experts, which made my job a lot easier). 

The fruit of the pear trees began to show again. Without the curse infecting the soil, the trees were finally happy. I never did see the woman again. I hoped she was happy with my work. It had been more rewarding than any adventure looking for a forgotten tomb or unknown sea monster had ever been. My parents would have been proud.

As I left the garden for the last time, I noticed a new tree in the heart of the grove. Its bark was weathered and ancient, but it was new. For an odd moment, I was reminded of the woman. It watched me happily as I turned away.