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The Little Cherry Tree

Not based on true events

Once in an orchard of monstrous Apple Trees, bearing monstrous flowers, there were two Sweet Cherry Trees, one heavy with white blossoms, and the other heavy with black knobs encrusting all its branches. But the latter was content with its lot, while the former never was. “ Next year,” said it, “ I will burst into a hundreds more blooms than this year, and all of the apple trees will forever admire me. They will not even come close to my beauty!” The knobby cherry tree listened patiently, and glanced at  the Black-Rot of Plum which encrusted its twigs. But it immediately caught itself in the act, and looked away. No, it was determined not to be jealous. So, the spring waned and summer arrived, and to the sorrow of all the trees, their petalled jewels fell, and they appeared as decently plain as before, and they stopped in the bragging. But the knobby cherry tree was as joyful as before for it had no blossoms to begin with. Finally, after summer came autumn, and buds burst into fruit with luscious juice, and children came to the orchard to pick both berry and apple. It was now that the knobby cherry tree felt the sting of its ailment, for the children flocked about its companion like bees to a flower but only looked in disgust at its own coated branches. Then, to dismay, it overheard the words of its planter nearby: “ That old tree? Eh, it’s never been healthy. May as well be cut down.” Cut down! Could it just not to be left? It was doing no one harm! It had not infected any other tree for years! But how could the knobby cherry tree tell the planter that it was yet alive, and good? How was it to escape this fate? Then, a chill breeze came, and before long, winter blew into its dominions. All was still and quiet, draped in white. None of the trees could brag about anything now, for, since they were unblossomed, they thought themselves the ugliest things, which was quite untrue. But the frost on the knobby tree was most striking of them all. One of these chilly days as the planter was sipping his coffee in his comfy cottage-like kitchen full of pattern and colour and the smell of cooking and wise old wood, he was shocked to have a handyman burst into the door and run breathless towards him without even removing his boots. “ It’s a miracle!” the workman cried breathlessly, pointing energetically out of the window, “A miracle! It’s a miracle!” “ What is?” said the other crossly. “ I can’t explain it! You must go outside! It’s a miracle!” The farmer, with a sigh of resignation, arose, put on his coat and stalked out of the door behind his worker, who continued to repeat “ It’s a miracle! It’s a miracle!” It was probably only that the old rickety shed which he had wanted to tear down had been blown to bits by the wind, thought the farmer. But, with that thought, he stopped, for before him, tipped with hoarfrost, and twinkling with icy diamonds, was a flower, a blossom, a bud open in the winter, which had not been there before. The knobby cherry tree shivered under the farmer’s gaze , for it was its ornament  upon which his eyes were resting. Then, with a touch as tender as that of the smallest child, he fell to his knees and whispered, “It’s a miracle.”

Sweet Cherry
Prunus avium

This cherry tree species is a native of Eurasia and is a relative of the Sour Cherry. The sweet Cherry, though, does not produce suckers at the base, and bears heart shaped fruit which are used in pies and fruit juice as well as for canning.

Black Rot of Plum
Dibotryon morbosum

 

These black, hard crusts of fungus lives on both plum and cherry trees and can be found in the wild as well as cultivated species. If it is on cherry, it is more porous than when it is on plum, and can be up to one foot long.

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Wednesday March 13, 2024