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Story of a tree (fragment)

Story of a tree (fragment)

By Rómulo Calzada

Suddenly the forest shudders. Unknown noises are heard: the footsteps of an animal that rarely comes through these peaceful places, but that, whenever it arrives, leaves a trace of pain, because it brings death: it kills animals, hurts trees, destroys flowers. ...


On his shoulder he carries an instrument of death. Trees fear him very much. An old tree leans over his son as if wanting to hide it and says:

- Look at that animal that comes around where the sun is brighter ... It is a very bad animal. I myself have wounds on my trunk that his wickedness did me. God protect you, my son! -

- But who is that animal? - asks the curious son.

- It is an animal, the only one that destroys itself. Build great cities and then ruin them, sowing death and desolation.

Create great civilizations and then destroy them. It hurts out of pleasure, out of a desire for evil.

They say that it is an animal that is sick with boredom. Boredom is his greatest evil.

It has all the attributes of the bad animals and very few of the good ones: sometimes it is sinuous like the serpent and cunning like the fox; Others are cruel like the wolf and coward like the deer; He is seldom brave like a lion, less often is he faithful like a dog, much less tender like a dove.

It also has attributes that no animal possesses. He possesses the lie, with which he corrupts everything, even his soul. He possesses slander, with which he destroys souls, honor, the peace of other souls. He has envy, which blinds his spiteful soul and drives him to do much evil on earth. He accumulates wealth that later makes him unhappy because he fears that it will be taken away. Above all, he has a rare gift that God says he gave him: language.

How much harm does he do with that gift and very few goods! Almost always the word that insults, the word that offends, the word that, like a poisoned and invisible arrow, sticks into the soul, making it suffer horribly, comes out of his mouth. Very rarely does the word that comforts, encourages, caresses ... It is an animal that guards offenses like a poison with which it poisons its own soul.

His evil is infinite. Look at him as he strikes, with his infernal instrument of death, your brothers. He has proclaimed himself the king of the universe, because he believes that only he has a soul. He is morbid even in pain and believes that only he suffers.


He does not believe that birds suffer, and kills his children, destroys their home. He sees them loving so tenderly and does not think they suffer.

He has not understood that the sad song of the lark is the song that a dead love cries.

He does not know that the nocturnal song of the nightingale is the pain, transformed into song, of an impossible love.

He does not know that the lugubrious murmur of our fronds on black nights is the soul of the trees that mourns the dead trees.

He does not know the soul of things, the quiet pain of things. His selfishness, like his evil, have no limits ...

She has the rare gift of imagination, and through it her fantasy of evil discovers a thousand forms of torture, but that same imagination is her condemnation, for her her pain is infinite. Poor sick animal ...!

- But who is it? - inquired the son tree.

- He is the man! - The old tree said sadly ...

And the man came to the trees talking. He heard murmurs, a thousand unknown voices coming out of the forest, but he understood nothing. The birds fled scared and making an anguished cry. The trees shuddered in their hard matter. Only the stream followed its eternal song, a prisoner in its rock prison ...

And man hurt the trees, as he always hurts, unconsciously!

- I like this - he said satisfied.

And he began his death task. He hurt the son tree terribly. His transparent blood bled from the wounds, and his leaves, faint, knew of the soon sinking death. The man continued his work of destruction until the tree rolled on the ground. The man cut a piece of it, put it on his shoulder and left the jungle, leaving most of the tree, which was left there to rot and fertilize the earth and bloom again in field flowers, in other trees, by the eternal law of life ...

And at night there were gloomy and gloomy hymns of fronds: the soul of the trees wept at the dead tree…!

Romulo Calzada


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