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On our school playground on one side you’ll see
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Our very own guardian Grandmother Tree.
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She stood long before the old blacktop was paved
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And here’s the true story of how she was saved!
Grandmother was just like all pines in this place,
Except that on one side she has a kind face.
And down near the ground there’s a great resting place.
A stone is in-grown in her trunk near the base!
On hot sunny days children played in her shade.
Around her wide trunk fairy houses are made,
While she watches over the new trail beyond
Right next to our wetland and small tadpole pond.
And so set the scene where we played every day.
It’s how we expected it always to stay.
‘Til one clear blue morning we all were dismayed---
On Grandmother’s back a red X had been sprayed!
Now what did this mean? Tell us, what could this be?
Oh, why have they painted our Grandmother Tree?
They trembled and cried and their hearts filled with dread.
Why was she crossed out? Would their friend soon be dead?
The kids started screaming; they made a big scene.
How could the grown-ups do something so mean?
The teacher agreed they could take time to write
Letters to save her, speak up for her rights!
They met with the principal, found out the facts
Why Grandmother Tree had been marked for the ax.
He said that her branches had grown much too tall.
If the wind got too strong they might fall on us all.
Could they trim the top part and leave us the rest?
Would they slow down and thing before taking the best?
He said he acknowledged our show of concern.
But we should just go now that we’d had our turn.
With cards and with songs and with trembling fears
We offered our Grandmother Tree our sad tears.
We offered her water; we offered her hugs.
We kissed her rough bark bid farewell to her bugs.
Well they held off the cutting until school was out.
When she was cut down we would not be about.
When fall came we dreaded that big empty space,
But wonder of wonders, we saw her kind face!
We stepped back and studied her branches up high.
Grandma had a haircut way up in the sky!
The kids hugged their teacher who hugged them right back,
And Grandmother winked at that whole happy pack!
Grandmother still winks at that whole happy pack!