[lines 1-30 from The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein]
Once there was a tree…
and she loved a little boy.
And every day the boy would come
and he would gather her leaves
and make them into crowns and play king of the forest.
He would climb up her trunk
and swing from her branches
and eat apples.
And they would play hide-and-go-seek.
And when he was tired, he would sleep in her shade.
And the boy loved the tree…
And the tree was happy.
But time went by.
And the boy grew older.
And the tree was often alone.
Then one day the boy came to the tree
and the tree said, “Come, Boy, come and climb
up my trunk and swing from my branches
and eat apples and play in my shade
and be happy.”
“I am too big to climb and play,” said the boy.
“I want to buy things and have fun.
I want some money.
Can you give me some money?”
“I’m sorry,” said the tree, “but I have no money.
I have only leaves and apples.
Take my apples, Boy, and sell them
in the city. Then you will have money
and you will be happy.”
The boy laughed,
“Your apples will bring me only a few dollars in the city.
So let’s skip the apples, chop you down and run a pipeline here
and sell fracked gas in the city.
Then I will have more money
And I will be happy.”
[Construction is under way on the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines, that will transport fracked gas across Virginia, despite no proven need for them, despite the dangers they pose to our water quality, despite the damage they will do to our state’s natural beauty and tourism, and despite the environmental injustice they lead to. On April 1, a 61-year-old woman nicknamed “Red” climbed up into a tree on her own property on Bent Mountain, in a desperate attempt to stop the felling of trees there by Mountain Valley Pipeline builders. Starting last Friday, law enforcement began barring her supporters from delivering food and drink to her in the tree, in a sick and inhumane attempt to starve her out of her tree. Meanwhile, trees are being felled right next to her, despite a March 31st deadline for such activities that is required by federal law to prevent harm to migratory birds and to bat colonies that nest in the trees.]