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That Lone Stub of a Tree

That Lone Stub Of A Tree!

While I was moving along,


A lone stub of a tree, I came upon.

I looked at it with curiosity;

Which species of plant it is to see.


Suddenly, a forlorn voice addressed me;

“Why are you looking at me, so curiously?

I am no big tree; majestic to see.

Nor am I any herb, well-known Ayurvedically.


So give me no importance;

And go your own way.

The stub of plant in front of me,

Said all this to me.


Then I replied to the dear little thing

“I am a student of the life sciences;

And I’d like to know; which species you belong to.

I have this impetuous urge of trying to find the reason for

Even a silly little thing.

Your history also do you mind telling?


It told me that it’s a remnant of a big tree, oak maybe.

“But oaks are not so precious

If they are only for building things.”

It evaded my question, bitterly.


“You seem to be having a very sharp opinion

About us humans;” I told it dejectedly.

“But being a nature admirer;

I wouldn’t even remove you from your perch; to take you as a souvenir, away,” I said, sadly.


“Well!” said the stub with uncertainty.

“I will tell you my history; provided, you first take me back home with you; away from my home,

This greenland turned desert.”


Happily, I started working on

The ties between the stub and its home.

Meanwhile, it continued with its narrative.

“You should be surprised and fearful, too;

There had been greenery here also.

Natives were tribals worshipping our like as Gods.

We were hundreds of years old and

This was the reason, I suppose.


Though they would need some of our boughs,

For burning as fuel and building their holes (houses);

Such a big destruction you behold;

Would never have been caused by them.

Thousands of years we lived to see this day.

Civilization came and made us this way.”


I asked, “How can we blame entirely on civilization?

Man has benefited a lot by that, see as you can.”


Anger showed in its voice as it continued this time.

“What is the use of those benefits when the important basic ones are gone?”


Continuing a bit mildly, it said,

“You are all worldly;

bred in cities and towns;

don’t know our trouble,

where all of us live.


“This was not the situation, when days before;

I was planted as a nature’s cure.

In the good old days,

The felling and decaying of trees;

Was compensated by the periodic dropping of seeds.


“Then we’d grow for hundreds of years,

In this same habitat of ours.

Then came the civilization

And with it our destruction.

They first attacked our friends the animals.


“Then due to the breakage in the food chain,

The fruits would be falling on the ground and

decaying in vain.


Now you’d think they’d left us alone and gone away.

But that wasn’t the case, anyway.

For a few years they did not come our way.

We thought they’d left here to let Nature do the purification in Her own way.


“Then again, they came with their axes and saws,

To cut the way for us, to the death’s very jaws.

After your industrial revolution, cutting and felling

became mechanized.

The felled wood was worked with and it became

subsidized (it helped their interests).

In your city, it might have helped a lot.”

“Yes, more than a hundred or so years ago houses were made out of your lot.”

“But here it left a barren land.”

“And that was the reason for soil erosion, I understand.”


“Yes, my dear, learnt it in Biology, you would have;

But I have experienced it in my own life.

The nearby river would be flooded;

And envelope us, then leave us all sanded.

The top soil of the fields, nearby;

Got stranded in the river bed becoming useless by and by.

In its place, now there is a layer of sand,

With which I was also enveloped.”

By now my home we had reached.

A nice nook in the front garden I tried to find.

But all my trouble takings it resisted.

Finally among some of my most precious specimens,

It got seated.




Now, I am in the dusk of my life.

Still that day in the barren land I can’t forget.

But try as I may I can’t rejuvenate my friend;

With interesting information my curiosity, who had fed.


About Gayatri T Rao

A double post-graduate (MSc. - Botany and MA - English Literature) Gayatri T Rao is a Senior Multimedia Journalist with vast experience in writing on varied topics.

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