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The Word Tree



One Sunday afternoon after church, David and I went for a walk like we always did on my Dad’s farm. We went up a hill, about a five minute walk away from our house. When we were satisfied with our walk we sat down beside a sheltered tree. I looked up and let out a bit of a yelp.

The large tree we sat in front of was covered in letters. There was a Capital T and O and a date underneath etched into the bark,. There were more, maybe 30 or so different initials and dates going up the trunk. There were so many questions in my mind. Who was it? Why did they carve this and did they live on my Dad's farm at one point?

David and I thought it would be a good idea to climb this tree. We did and we tried to figure out who the people might have been that sculpted their initials. Then he said that we should chip our names into the tree like the other people had done. I found a sharp stone and carved K S. He carved D F.

When we sat around the table as a family, David and I told my Mum, Dad, two sisters and three brothers what we had done.

So far I have taken my brothers and one sister to the word tree, along with some friends. Everyone enjoyed engraving names and dates into the bark. Next I will take my Mum and Dad.

This story is a part of the Honourable Mention series, for those pieces of writing submitted to Write On Issue 53 (Summer 2019/2020) that we couldn't quite fit into the magazine.

Thanks to Hurunui Creative Communities for supporting a Write On workshop at Hurunui College.

© Write On: School for Young Writers and the writer, 2020


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