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  • Writer's pictureChristine Stevens

The Giving Tree Stump Confronts Boy

Updated: Sep 24, 2022

Giving Tree Stump: Hello Boy, thank you for coming.

BOY: What the hell?

GTS: I said hello Boy, thank you for…

BOY: What? Who's talking, where are you? I didn’t do it…

GTS: It’s me, Boy, your Tree.

BOY: MY Tree? What do you mean? What tree, there aren’t any trees around here - come on, show yourself, this is creepy…

GTS: You’re sitting on me.

BOY: I’m sitting on an old, dried up stump.

GTS: Yup.

BOY: Oh.

GTS: Is it coming back to you? The apples, the twigs, the branches, the…everything?

BOY: Hey, you started it, with your whole “Come Boy, come tear my leaves off and make a crown, sell my apples, take all of me, blah blah blah.”

GTS: Yes, well that’s what I want to talk about. I’ve had some time to think about it and I realize the transactional nature of our relationship only transacted in one direction - yours. My desperate need to be liked - no, loved by you - made me forfeit both my personal boundaries and common sense. Not to mention every last splinter of my being.

BOY: Uhhh, well, it’s kinda in your name, you know. Blaming me for your neurotic need to literally give yourself away is sorta psycho, if you ask me.

GTS: Did you know that 78% of the females in this country sacrifice at least one limb or one internal organ to a Boy every year? The other 22% were too busy pulling a pile of squishy guts out of their own stomachs to respond to the survey…

BOY: You just made that up. You're a talking seat. What do you know about human anatomy?

GTS: …and 96% of the males, when told this statistic, respond exactly the way you just did.

BOY: You’ve grown pretty hostile since I last saw you.

GTS: You mean since you last SAWED me. I haven’t grown at all since you took my trunk for your damn boat.

BOY: You know, I’m gonna go. I have things to do - and you, well you have nothing. And you’re really whiny. I gotta find a shit-ton of sawdust to soak up the spill in my garage from the ruptured oil tank on my Escalade.

GTS: No, wait, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you…

BOY: Well you did so now I need to take my uncomfortable feelings and channel them into the acquisition of material goods to help numb my existential pain.

GTS: Wait, wait…I think I can help you. Come Boy, come…take what’s left of me and turn it into sawdust so you can…

BOY: Great idea. I think my buddy Jake has a stump grinder I could borrow.

GTS: Dammit, I did it again. No. I take it back.

BOY: Calling him now…

GTS: I said NO!

BOY: Shhh, it’s ringing…

GTS: Listen to me. You cannot turn me into sawdust. I may be just a barren surface for squirrels to crack their nuts on now, but I still have my roots, and they run deep and they connect with other stumps, and we talk. We talk about all the Boys and Girls who have taken our sap, carved their names into our bark then ghosted us; paid us 30% less than a Boy to do the same job equally well, probably better; convinced us to take their carpool day at least once a month so they could make their waxing appointment; taken credit for our work auto-tuning and synchronizing 167 voices for the Pandemic ZOOM jazz choir performance, created laws that threatened our very existence…

BOY: Oh hey, yeah, Jake, it’s me…just wondering if I could borrow your Pulp Master 3000…

GTS: …and not listened to us when we FINALLY SAID NO to yet another sap sucking request.

BOY: Say what?

GTS: No. No you cannot pulverize what’s left of me just to clean up the mess from your ethically, environmentally and energetically irresponsible choice in transportation…

BOY: You’re a verbose hunk of cellulose, what do you know about cars?

GTS: …and how about you do something for me for a change?

BOY: I do not know what those words mean.

GTS: I want you to try spending one day where you don’t ask anyone for anything. And then I want you to donate that toxic, over-priced rolling man cave to your local NPR station and buy a nice little electric car.

BOY: Jeez, when did you get so woke?

GTS: Like I said, roots. It’s all I’ve got left.

By Christine Stevens

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