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The Monster Tree

by Mary King

Mama say, Girl you know what’s good for you, you gonna go out and fetch me them apples. I say, No Ma’am I ain’t, I ain’t gonna go out and get caught by no monster! Mama walk over and give me a shake. She say, Girl you nine years old and you know they’s no sech thing as monsters. Now you git!

I take all my time walkin over to that old apple tree. You ask me, it ain’t no apple tree anyway, it’s a monster tree. I know they’s a monster lives in there, I can see him movin around and wavin his big arms late at night from my window. So I don’t go by that old tree unless I got to. But Mama say she wear me out if I don’t go and pick up them windfall apples for her to make a pie with. So I’m goin but I ain’t in no big hurry to get there.

I pick up all the apples I can find real quick, don’t even care if they rotten or got brown patches, I just throw them in the sack. All the while I’m pickin them up, I can hear the monster in the tree. He growlin at me, real soft at first, so you almost think it the wind or sumpin, but then a little louder like he sayin, Look out now, girl, I’m comin for you.

Time I get back home, it close on dark and my sister Vivienne be back from work. Mama say to me, Lorena you go get your sister sumpin cool to drink. She thirsty from her walk. I stick my tongue out at Vivienne and tell her to get it herownself if she so thirsty. I don’t even have time to run, that’s how quick Mama cross the floor and hit me a good one back of my head.

It just ain’t fair, everythin always for Vivienne. Alls I ever hear is, Lorena get this for Vivienne, Lorena get that for Vivienne, Lorena get up off that soft chair so’s Vivienne can sit. And Vivienne just smirk at me and tell Mama how lazy I am. I just bet Mama be lots nicer to me if that Vivienne wasn’t around.

So I got me a plan. One real hot day, just as the sun’s goin down, I sneak out to that old tree and quick as quick, set out Vivienne’s favorite chair right underneath, and then I set out a cold glass of lemonade on that little table we got from Grammie Jean. Then I call Vivienne, I say, Come on out, I got a surprise for you under the apple tree.

Vivienne come out and see all this and she sit down and drink her lemonade and don’t even say thank you to me. But that okay with me; night comin on and I run fast as I can back to the house. Don’t even look back, that’s how fast I go.

Later on Mama say, Go call your sister, her supper gettin cold. I look out the window at the monster tree. They ain’t no Vivienne under it now. I say, she ain’t out there, Mama, I don’t know what happen to her.

But that a lie. I know what happen, alright. And if Mama still don’t love me now that Vivienne gone, well maybe I’ll just have to fix up a little treat for her under that old monster tree, same’s I did for Vivienne.

Copyright © 2005 by Mary King

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