Short Story Entry by Ann Maria Thomson,15 Manny

Hey! Let me introduce myself. My name is …. Oh no!  I don’t have a name. But the children in the house call me ‘Manny’. You may right now be thinking which human is born without a name. A small twist there, I am a wooden table. Today I am going to tell my story.

I was born in South America to a giant father oak and mother oak. We all lived in a private forest owned by a man called Alex. Alex was my second dad. He took care of us like his own family. Everything was going well until the first tragic event of my life happened.  When I was 20, Alex died of heart attack. I couldn’t press my lips on his chubby cheeks for the last time. My dad was gone.

Henry, Alex’s elder son was the villain of my story. But I can’t call him a villain. He just wanted to increase his financial resources. He never knew plants had emotions. That is why, he sold us. When Alex was alive, he would never let anyone buy his forest. But when Alex’s health started deteriorating, Henry started taking control of everything. He sold the forest to an Australian.

About two weeks later, my father came in contraction with bacterial leaf scorch, a disease which results in tree death. The Australian man cut off my father because he had contracted the disease. I was broken. I lost the person who protected me from rain and thunder. I lost the man who held me up in his arms. I started complaining to God. I asked him why he was doing this to me. He did not answer. It was as if he was busy calling my dear ones. But I couldn’t give up because I had my mom. The most tragic event was on the way ...

There was a heavy storm in the month of September. The storm was so heavy that one of my branches was broken. The pain was intolerable. If you say to a human that a branch of a tree is broken, they would just ignore it. But the pain of a branch broken is similar to pain of cutting off your hand. Again, I lost. This time I lost my own self.

The storm continued for the next 24 hours. A black horse took shelter under my tree. I decided to talk to it. We starting talking and he said that he had run away from his owner. He was lame. Hence he was not good for riding. Since he did not make business, the owner used to beat him often. From that day onwards, we became friends. I started making friends with squirrels and birds living in my surroundings. I was experiencing happiness after a long time. But it was short lived.

The Australian gave a contract to cut down all the trees in the forest. The tree cutters came within two days of signing the contract. I, my mom and other trees were going to be cut down. The sharp tool cut through my leg. The excruciating pain made my head go dizzy. I couldn’t cry. In front of me my mom, siblings and other trees were going through pain in the same way. What is the pain when your legs are cut with a sharp tool? That was the pain I was experiencing. They hit me three times and they cut all my branches. I slowly fell down to the ground. My vision was becoming blurring. That was the last time I saw my family.

When I became conscious I did not have my hands, legs or leaves. I was in a large factory with many other trees lying down like me. I didn’t know where my mother and others are or why I was here? Two days later, some humans came and started cutting me. The helplessness combined with the pain made me close my eyes again.

I opened my eyes three days later and found that I had changed into a table. I was sitting in a furniture shop. When the time was about 9am, my current owner came into the store. I was an expensive one since I was of pure wood. My owner liked me and took me to his home.

Today I live here with five human beings and many other items. It is a whole different experience. The children tidy me up regularly, not because they like to keep me clean but because they are scared of the villain of the house: bamboo stick. I am telling you my story because you all might be going through different kinds of pain. But always remember, nothing can destroy you. Only you can destroy yourself. Fight for what you love and enjoy the ride.


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