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The Tree I Grew Up With

Mishpacha Writers

It was the promise of a future climb. It was a silent sentry. It was the symbol of persistence. It was a haven of refuge. 4 true accounts

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Climbing Tree Cindy Scarr Across the driveway from The House was The Climbing Tree. It was a large, leafy, branchy, shady beech. We discovered it the day we moved into The House. It was, quite clearly, The Climbing Tree. Could those perfectly placed and perfectly spaced lower branches be there for any other reason? The Climbing Tree was my spaceship. In the V where two branches met about ten feet off the ground there was a small, flat bit of wood I immediately declared to be the Captain’s Seat (I, of course, was Captain). From there, I issued commands toLinda, my next-door neighbor, best friend, and co-captain. Our spaceship made frequent landings — sitting in a tree for long chunks of time isn’t all that comfortable if you’re not a jungle creature or a bird — and Linda and I would acrobatically descend along designated and painstakingly practiced exit routes. We had to practice — who knew when we’d be attacked by aliens holding death-ray guns (my brothers with water pistols) and need to make a speedy escape? So, armed with a stopwatch, we practiced exit routes and entry routes. The exit routes were dangerous. Grab one branch with both hands, swing both feet to the next, barely stop there before leaning forward and grabbing a lower branch to which at least one foot was then swung, then have one hand grab another branch before catapulting to the ground. Four or five uneven branches, from a second-story height, in about ten seconds. From there we made our way onto the new planet. There were usually no more than several seconds of peaceful exploration before aliens exploded from the bushes. Battle ensued. Prisoners were taken. Back to the ship.

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