Part I: The Farm

The small blue spruce pine gave a shiver as a cold gust of wind whipped over the crest of a nearby hill and hit the pine with a cruel blow. As the branches shook, small piles of dirty snow fell to the ground at his base - a mockery of the Christmas presents by which the pine was sure he would not be encircled. It was less than one week until the anticipated holiday, and all the beautiful pines had already been taken. The poor spruce was left alone, exposed in the desolate wasteland of tree stumps. There were others scattered about at the top of the hill, but they were too far away and few between to be a wind-break or source of conversation. As it was, the pine knew all too well that the only subject worth talking about - the only important thing, before which all others fell away - the shrinking chance of being chosen to grace the living room of a family. Little was said of those who were not picked, but all the trees knew the great furnace in the center building required stoking continually.

Oh, how the thought was terrible! A branch-quivering needle-trembling shudder arose from the very depths of the deepest roots to the tiny stub at the vertex of the poor pine, to which the wind of a moment ago was but a light spring zephyr. If only - if only a family would come! They would pick him out and hew his trunk. The severing from his roots, while painful, would be a liberating stroke, for his last days would be spent presiding over the happy holidays of a family of the human race, for which, despite his maltreatment, he still had an intrinsic fondness for. They then would truss him up, strap him to the roof of their vehicle, and take him into their nice warm house, away from the bitter cold, the biting wind, and the piercing moisture. No more would he stand, alone and depressed, bowed over by the weight of the snow and the cares of the pines; he would be released from the hold that melancholy and nostalgia had him in.

But what about the birch?

What would happen to her? The birch was still but a sapling, in the first year of her existence. The pine and sheltered her, and unbeknownst to him, had tilted over her to protect her from the cold winds. Fortunately, she had grown for the most part in the lee of the pine, and so was somewhat comforted. Earlier in the year he and she had many animated conversations ranging from the meaning of life to the consistency of Mediterranean soil, to the Northern lights, but with the loss of her leaves, which had increased his sympathy for her, and the onslaught of winter, she had become less and less loquacious, and spent more time in the slumber of the leaf-droppers. When extreme waves of sadness overcame the pine, he would often seek solace in talking to the birch, and when she couldn't be roused, just in looking at her thin and huddled form.

He finally came to the conclusion that if he were taken away, she would be able to handle herself. After all, he wouldn't be around to protect her forever, and so it might do her good to deal with the trials of life by herself (and other birches survived without his help, so she must be able to as well...).

As he thought about the bliss of being selected for Christmas, he remembered with wrath the pine that had grown next to him. This pine, whose name happened to be Tranquility (a misnomer if ever the were one) had from their very youth precipitated a state of contention and variance. All their life they had fought, paradoxically growing more and more entwined as they were fostering more and more enmity. The other pine, the little birch, and the advent of Christmas were the three giants that had dominated his thoughts day and night (for, as you know, evergreens never sleep) .Three days ago a family had come for his adversary. Each push or pull of the saw was a great blow to the pine, as were the happy shouts of the children. As a final humiliation, the insidious conifer, in its fall had smacked the good pine. Since then the side of the pine on which Trank, as the pine thought of him, had infringing was even more exposed than the rest, for the branches had not the opportunity to grow to their fullest extent. Other than this and the fact that he had not been chosen, the pine had no regrets at seeing the last of his seven-year enemy.

And in such contemplation and isolation, near the top of a large hill stooped the pine, at the farthest extremity of the tree farm. And as such he may have stayed until the workers came - for fuel - but it was not to be.

Note: I don't have much to say, other than comments would be appreciated, especially ones with advice (i. e. Your writing stinks, never type another word), and I hope to post another chapter soon (knock on wood), so feel free to return.