Tales from the Woodlands

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The Crooked Tree

Woodlands was a haven for many critters and even some villagers. It was a place of tranquility and beauty. To some however, it was a place to do business. The city of Erindale thrived on lumber. Every business and house was made from wood. Therefore the best place to collect wood was in Woodlands. The head of the lumber company in Erindale was Arthur Bennet. He was a very rich man who had inherited the company from his father Alexander Bennet. He would his send his men every week into Woodlands to get a supply of lumber. The lumberjacks would chop away with their mighty axe at every tree they could find. With these trees falling it down, it destroyed many of the animals’ habitats. The robin’s nest was destroyed, and the squirrels would have to relocate to another tree.

This would happen until their homes were destroyed again and again. While Erindale thrived, the animals of Woodlands suffered. Another week passed by and the lumberjack were off to collect more wood. They went deep into the forest to find the best quality of wood. They chopped away at the tall and strong pine trees. In the midst of the beautiful trees an odd and ugly tree was spotted. “That tree is crooked! What is it doing with these nice trees?”- said a lumberjack. They chopped away at the healthier looking trees when one of the men was swept off their feet. The man turned around to find the other men being thrown around by the branches of the crooked tree. “That’s impossible! Trees don’t move like that!” – said the man. One lumberjack was swung by the tree’s branch into another tree hurting him badly; the other was thrown into a nearby pond. The lumberjack ran away in fear towards Erindale.

“Sir, you are not going to like this, but the other lumberjacks were attacked.”- said the man. “By who were they attacked?” – said Mr. Bennet. “You are not going to believe me but, they were attacked by a tree. “That is nonsense Mr. Williams!”- said Mr. Bennet. Mr. Bennet then fired the man, thinking he was insane and somehow had something to do with the deaths of the other lumberjacks. A week passed by and another group of lumberjacks were sent to collect wood. They went deep into the forest, followed the trails, and stopped when they saw the crooked tree. They laughed at its odd shape and went on to cut down the nearby trees. The men only got a couple swings into the trees when all of the men were grabbed by the crooked tree’s branch. They were swung back and forth into the ground and up and back into the ground, being beaten nearly to death. Two of the men managed to escape the tree’s grasp by chopping the branch with their axes.

The men ran back to Erindale to inform Mr. Bennet. “Mr. Bennet it is true! Mr. Williams was not lying! The tree is very much alive, and it killed the other men!”- said the lumberjacks. “That is enough of this foolery! I am going into that damn forest myself!” – yelled Mr. Bennet. He grabbed his mighty axe and marched into Woodlands. The men lead him to the crooked tree. There Mr. Bennet found the bodies of his men. “This is outrageous! A tree cannot do this! Only an animal could do this! – yelled Mr. Bennet. He marched on over to the crooked tree. He picked up his axe and swung his axe into its trunk. He took it out and swung again causing wood chips to fly everywhere. “You see gentleman! This is nothing but an ugly tree!”- said Mr. Bennet. He was about to give the tree a final blow when its branch wrapped around his wrist. It twisted Mr. Bennet’s arm causing it to break. His axe fell onto the ground and the crooked tree picked him up twenty feet into the air. “Help me!” – he yelled at the lumberjacks. But the lumberjacks were long gone. Then the crooked tree opened up its bark as if it had a mouth. The crooked tree loosened its grip on Mr. Bennet, dropping him inside it. Mr. Bennet was swallowed whole by the crooked tree. Legend says, that if you visit the crooked tree, you can still hear Mr. Bennet’s screams inside the tree trunk. Many say that the crooked tree was a protector of the forest, ensuring that the other trees were not killed, but others view it as a monster.

The End

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