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An Allegory From My Garden by Jennifer Phillips

Once upon a time a gardener placed a line of pencil sculptures at the entrance to the Owners orchard. By and by the gardener extended the orchard and made a new path that led down to the fruit trees.

One night the wind strained against its leash and lashed the line of pencils, tearing two right out of the ground. The pencils were spindly but available, so the gardener placed them, one on the right and one on the left of the new entrance. The one on the right proved able to withstand the storms that assailed the orchard from time to time, but the one on the left was rendered useless by them. It lay rotting on the ground.

From time to time the gardener looked at the right pencil. It was a curious shape. It was missing a branch but didn't look right by its-self. The gardener decided it would be less vulnerable, in a less prominent position.

Out in the orchard weeding one day, the gardener took a break and looked at the remaining line of pencil sculptures. Two were solid with an air of strength, just the sort to stand guard at the new entrance, but moving them would be difficult. They were firmly set, deep in the ground. The ground was hard, and there were other things to do.

Finally, the time was ripe. The Owner had been working on hidden things. He told the gardener a great wall of water was coming. The gardener cried out for mercy and the Owner intervened to limit the flow.

Clouds reached out their hands to hide the sun. Water spewed down like a flood, sweeping away everything it could, things that weren't firmly anchored to the ground. The wind screamed through the trees, tearing and shoving, breaking new branches and tossing them about.

Two tall trees stood behind the outer wall of the garden. The roots of the one on the left, like the base of the pencil on the left, had started decaying. The wind chortled. It couldn't move the right tree, but toppling the other was easy. "Haaaa!" It triumphed as the tree fell. But the evil the wind intended, was thwarted. The gardener had been wanting to remove both trees. As the tree fell, it smashed through the wall and broke the fence. With glee the wind spied the two pencils. The soil had rotted their base too, making them moveable. The wind grabbed them and tossed them over the bank and laughed. But the Owner had the last laugh.

After the storm the gardener inspected the orchard. None of the fruit trees had been touched. She was amazed. They still held their fruit. The only damage was to the perimeter wall and the displacement of the pencils, but these were the two the gardener had wanted to move. It was perfect. The hard work had been done for her. Now all she had to do was dig two new holes at the entrance to the garden and plant the pencils there. As for the fallen tree, it was recycled as mulch and the wall was rebuilt, without cost to the gardener.

The tall tree to the right of the fallen one, was loved by the birds. They feed from its flowers, so the gardener hadn't pruned it or removed it. Now it had to be done. It was the right time. She pruned it so it wouldn't be able to fall on the new wall.

The outer bark was beginning to peel off the two pencil sculptures that had been moved. They were old and the paint was fading. They needed a new coat of paint, but first they needed to dry out a bit, so the gardener waited for the sun. Finally, at just the right time, they received their new coat. A multi-coloured mantle. The gardener was pleased and so was the Owner, and those who passed by smiled.

Pencil Sculpture by Jennifer Phillips Fallen pencils Fallen Tree by Jennifer Phillips Pencil Sculptures by Jennifer Phillips