It was a local legend that as long as the tree lived and thrived so would the people of the village. It was a strange tree, no one could find out what type of tree it was. It kept its green leaves through Winter, no matter how harsh the wind and snows. It produced thousands of tiny white flowers throughout May and June producing a constant delicate rain of blossom. Marriages would take place under that fine tree and Brides always put a sprig of it’s blossom into their bouquet. It was tradition, so it had to be done. In August the tree was covered in red fruit, similar to cherries but sweeter than sugar plums. Many people in the village would take a punnet of the fruit home with them and make jam out of them. In the Summer people would visit the Village and have picnics under the trees green canopy. They would buy things from the shops, including the precious Jam. People had planted the small pips from the fruit in the hope of producing more of these special trees, but none of them ever sprouted. Some people tried to take cuttings from the tree, but they just wouldn’t take root. There was only ever one tree. One day it was decided that they needed to build more houses in the Village and the only space available was the old village green, where the Tree stood. The villagers urged the council not to go ahead and sell the land. Unfortunately, the Mayor had already taken his bribe and signed over the land to the big development corporation.
The Legend was true, when that tree died so did the hopes and dreams of the whole village.
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 15/July/2018