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How The Mighty
Have Fallen

Written by Codey

Reading by Ben W. Blue

Copyright © 2008 by Codeyspen.
All rights reserved.

Hollow Maple Tree

“How the mighty have fallen.” I was ten, and we'd been studying David and Saul in Bible Studies. When Saul and Jonathon were killed in the same battle, David wrote that lament. It came to my mind when a tree fell.

In the woods behind our house was a huge Maple tree. We kids called it the M&M tree, for, “Mighty Maple.” Most of the trees in those woods were about twenty to thirty feet tall. The M&M tree was easily twice that tall. It stood close to the foundation stones of an old farm house that had collapsed years ago, so I figured it was a shade tree planted by the people who lived on that old farm. I bet several generations of kids played in and under the branches of that tree. From my bedroom window, I had a clear view of that tree. It was there for me to see every night before bed and still there every morning when I woke up. It seemed invincible.

One afternoon, we had a terrible storm; not a tornado, but still it had lots of rain and high winds. I was standing at my bedroom window when a big bolt of lightning struck the tree. The clap of thunder was so loud and vibrated our house so much that I thought the windows were going to break, so I jumped back. After the thunder stopped, I looked back out the window and could see the tree had been split down the middle, with the two halves leaning away from each other. The two halves were bending in the wind, and soon both came crashing down. The M&M tree was gone.

The next morning, my brothers and I went with Dad to check out the tree. My best friend, Mikey, and his Dad were there when we got there. The tree had pulled up its root ball and, splayed open as it was from the lightning, it had destroyed many smaller trees as it fell. I climbed up on the root ball and shouted, “Oh, how the mighty have fallen!” Dad just laughed and told me to get down, before I fell and broke my neck. He and Mikey's dad decided they'd chop it up into firewood the next day. We younger boys weren't allowed to hang around because of the chainsaws, but Tiger's older brother was 15 and he was allowed to help by working the log splitter. It took them two days to cut and stack all that firewood.

On the evening of the second day, when all the work was done, Dad and I were sitting on the back porch, watching his garden grow. At least, that's what he called it, Mom said it was just an excuse for doing nothing, so he didn't feel guilty. My brother, Chris, was there building a Lego monster. Dad asked us what we felt about the tree falling. “I know!” Chris said, jumping up. “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” This was a favorite saying of my dad's and Chris always said it when asked what he thought about something, because it could almost always be twisted into being a right answer.

Dad just laughed and told him he was right again. Chris proudly went into the house to tell Mom he was right again. “What about you, Codey? What does this all tell you?”

I was quiet for a minute, before answering. “I really don't know; it's a little confusing.”

“How so?”

“Well, at first, I thought of how the tree was strong until it split apart and then it fell, kinda like Abraham Lincoln's divided house thing. But, then I thought how the big tree was a protector for all those littler trees but when it fell, it destroyed a lot of them too. Like when a family breaks up and the parents get divorced. It hurts everyone in the family, even the kids. Those are both bad things, but the other thing is kinda good. Like now, all the little trees that are left will have room to grow into big, strong trees themselves.”

“And how does that confuse you?”

“Because it's good and bad at the same time.”

“I can see how that could confuse you; but as you get older you're going to learn that very little in life is pure good or pure bad. Why don't you go get ready for bed and think about it some more?”

I did go upstairs and got ready for bed, but before I went to sleep, I wrote this poem. No laughing now! Remember, I was only ten at the time.

The Mighty Tree

Written by Codey

  1. Out in the woods, stood a mighty tree,
  2. the higher branches, you could barely see..
  3. Then rain, wind and lightning, with frightening sound,
  4. managed to bring the mighty tree down.
  5. Now out in the woods, stands a baby tree
  6. with plenty of room to grow and be.

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