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In the shade of a large tree

Updated on January 27, 2020


The Björk brothers

Title: In the shade of a large tree

By Esa Myllylä

It was hot out in the meadow. It was so hot that the tall grass faded and turned yellow. It started to blow a little and the grass swayed back and forth.

The grass was happy that the nice wind blew. Because if the wind didn't, the grass wouldn't stand. It was so hot.

There were not many trees in the meadow. There were mostly grass and flowers. But far away there was a large tree. The tree that was a spruce was really big. It was so big you couldn't see its top with the eye. It was so big. Down there next to the Christmas tree grew two little brothers who were birch trees. They had leaves and were white and black in the trunk. The Christmas tree was so big that it got the sun to itself when the sun warmed warmest in the middle of the day. Then there was only one big shadow over the birch trees.

The birches were brothers and their names were Bjork by last name. It made the little brothers unhappy when the shadow fell over them in the middle of the day. For they liked the morning sun that woke them every morning. They thought it was unfair that the big Christmas tree had to have the sun to itself, day after day. Why should that big drum have the sun all day for itself when we can have it only in the morning and evening, they thought sour.

The sun did not listen to the little birch ponderings, but glowed warmly over the Christmas tree. And the Christmas tree just smiled to itself and grew so it cracked in the tree trunk.

The Bjork brothers became more and more jealous on the Christmas tree. One day when the sun was at its warmest, an owl flew to the trees and sat down on a branch in the Christmas tree. The owl had sat above the Bjork brothers. He exhaled and said spontaneously:

"Oh, how nice it is to have a shade like this on a hot day, and then the owl fell asleep."
The Bjork brothers who had heard what the owl had said became angry.
"Listen to it," said one brother.
"Yes, I heard it," replied the other brother bitterly.
They annoyed and shouted at the owl:
"Who do you think you are?"
The owl, who had fallen asleep, woke up with a jerk so that some feathers came loose.
"Who, who there?" The owl asked, looking around.
"Here we are, stupid!" Cried the brothers Bjork.
The owl looked down at the Bjork brothers and asked irritably:
“What do you mean by waking me out of my slumber?
"Because you are a fool!" Answered the brothers Bjork at the same time.
"Why am I a fool?" The owl asked.
One brother whispered to the other brother:
"He doesn't even know what a dumb man is," so dumb he is.

The other brother Bjork shook irritably at the crown of the leaves so that the leaves rustled. He said:
“Do you not know your stupid that that shade you like is not good for us.

And the brothers Bjork rattled angry with the leaves. One brother continued:
"We get no sun in the middle of the day and that's the big spruce bug."

The owl pondered for a while. He understood that he would not be allowed to sleep in peace as long as the two birches were so sour. The owl understood that it was better to fly away and look for another resting place. But wise and kind as he was, he wanted to give the brothers good advice. He said:
"You birch trees should not be so bitter for the good mother Nature knows what it does."
"What is it doing?" Asked the brothers Bjork.
"It is very hot when the sun is at the highest in the sky, so be happy now as you have it!" Said the owl and flew his way.

The Bjork brothers did not know what the word hot meant, but the owl had already flown its way, so they could not get an answer to what the owl really meant.

They decided not to heed the owl's warning, so they began to make wicked plans. They had noticed that the Christmas tree was so happy with the heat that it got in the middle of the day that it slept like a log, and then they could come up with something so that they dropped the Christmas tree forever. The Bjork brothers had also noticed that the wind occasionally took a breather. They wondered if they could fool the wind to blow over the Christmas tree. Then they would get the sun for themselves all day.

The Bjork brothers decided to have a conversation with the wind to put their nasty plan to work.

"Hi wind, we want to talk to you!"
"Who are we?" Was a thundering and whispering question from the wind that caused the two brothers Bjork to bend their leaf crowns with fear. They were so scared.
"It's us, we little birch trees in the shade of the Christmas tree," they whispered.

The Bjork brothers were so small that the wind did not see them at first. But then the wind bent down and saw them under the big fir tree.
"Aha, there you are," the wind said.
"Yes here we are," answered the brothers Bjork, and were so happy that they wandered with their roots in the underground of excitement.
"And what do you have in your heart then?" The wind asked.
"Well it is that the fir tree is not feeling well and wants you to blow on him," lied one brother Bjork.
"Why doesn't the Christmas tree itself ask for it?" The wind asked.
"Because the Christmas tree has become both deaf and mute from its growing," lied the other brother Bjork.

The wind looked surprised at the Bjork brothers. He had never heard that a tree can become mute and deaf from growing. The birch trees, who noticed that the wind was not convinced, suddenly realized that the wind might not be as easily beaten as they had thought he was. One of the brothers Bjork said.
"You know the wind, well, that when a tree grows as much as the spruce has done, it cracks in the trunk so high that it becomes deaf."
The other of the brothers Bjork said:
"And if it grows so it cracks, then the roots in the soil will wobble so that the speech ability comes together."

The Bjork brothers were cunning, but the wind was still suspicious and the wind asked:
"But how can you know what the Christmas tree wants if it's deaf?"
"You know that trees can hear what other trees think," the brothers lied.

The wind thought after a while and after a while of pondering, he thought it might be reasonable for trees to hear the thoughts of other trees, so he accepted the birch trees' request to blow on the Christmas tree. The wind thought that the Christmas tree that had become deafened by everything growing must now be hurt. It would do the Christmas tree good to get some cooling blow in the heat, he thought, so the wind blew. But the Christmas tree remained where it had always been.

The Bjork brothers shook up their branches. One of the brothers Bjork called out to the wind to take charge and blow everything he could. The wind asked anxiously:
"But won't the Christmas tree wear out of the earth then?"
"The Christmas tree is very strong and can withstand any wind," lied the other of the brothers Bjork.

The wind brought with it and took charge and blew everything it could. The Christmas tree was bent by the strong wind and it was awakened by the pain in the roots. The Christmas tree screamed for the wind to stop blowing, but the wind did not hear the fir cry of him. Suddenly, the roots of the spruce tore from the ground and the spruce flew far to fall down with thunder and crash on the ground. The Christmas tree cried where it lay on the ground one last time and then it died and the bars on the Christmas tree fell off until only the branches appeared.

The wind, who understood that he had been deceived by the Bjork brothers, immediately fled the shame his way. It suddenly became quiet and very hot. So hot that the birch leaves began to sweat. The Bjork brothers couldn't really enjoy the warmth of the sun. They wanted the wind to come back and start blowing on them, but the wind was far away, and because it didn't blow, no water clouds could come to the meadow and a dry period with very hot days and nights began.

The days became weeks and the weeks became months. Because the wind was far away, the birch trees did not get any rain. They really needed water, because they had swept away all the water they had in the roots very quickly. The birch trees dried out and their fine leaves began to fall off the branches. They groaned that they had tricked the wind into blowing the Christmas tree. They cried, thinking they probably would have been good in the shade of the Christmas tree anyway. It was so hot.

Soon one of the brothers Bjork and the other of the brothers also dropped the last leaf and died. Not long after that the wind came back and with him rain clouds. The heat of the sun, the wind and the rain replaced each other at regular intervals and soon a cone from the dead spruce began to germinate and it also in the same place where the last spruce had stood.

The years passed and a large and stately spruce emerged from the earth. It was even bigger than the last Christmas tree. And how magnificent it was. The Christmas tree was so nice that even a birch tree would be proud to grow in the shade of it.

© 2020 Esa Myllylä


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