The Scary Tree

We were so sad to see it go. The first time we realized it was gone, we were on a walk to the park near our home. Branches ripped apart. Trunk cut into what seemed like a zillion pieces. This tree had been a landmark of my daughter’s childhood. She recently wrote a memoir about this special tree.  I share it with you now…

     In the middle of nowhere is where it stood. Tall and noticeable. Never changing. Never moving. Holding so many memories, my safe place. Branches, but no leaves… Dead, yet still standing. This is the place I call the “Scary Tree.”


     I told this tree everything. I would walk to it almost every day, and just sit in the shade of its bare branches. It may have been dead but it was still alive in my heart. It was a home to many animals. It was the only tree in the middle of a giant field. For years, people threatened to cut it down because it was so old and taking up too much room. I never thought they’d actually do it… Until this year.

     This tree was a landmark. One day, after the destruction, we stole a branch from the rubble. To this day, that branch is in our yard. It will always be one of my best childhood memories. Whether it is standing… or not.  Someday there will be another landmark for another kid to look at.


© 2013, Delani Rhynard. Posted here with permission.


  1. This is so endearing. It’s great that your daughter is already taking to the practice of writing about what she feels connected to. It reminds me of a short, dark twig my son picked up off the sidewalk when he was seven. I still have it and every time I look at it I remember that sunny afternoon as we walked side by side.


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