In the spring of ’43 Terry found Surprised Dead Tree just outside of Pine Town.
Late for dinner one lazy afternoon, Terry took a shortcut through a nearby unfamiliar forest. He stumbled upon a rotting pine with a face. It looked human, and so Terry decided to ask it a question. If he snuck into his house through the garage, could he escape Dad finding out?
He took the tree’s surprised look as a resounding yes!
He made it home and upstairs, unnoticed. That night Dad’s meatloaf never tasted better. The next day he told his friends about Surprised Dead Tree, as he named it. They told their parents. Their parents told their friends.
Soon, Surprised Dead Tree became the local legend. People showed up with gifts and questions. Unmoving, face still eternally frozen, Surprised Dead Tree answered any and all questions.
Pine Town’s mayor just knew this was the shot in the arm his town needed to put them on the map. He officially declared Surprised Dead Tree an honorary citizen in a grand ceremony. All the town showed up. When the parade moved to the forest, they found two sparrows had moved into Surprised Dead Tree’s right eye.
This is a dead tree I had cut down in my backyard. Only later did I notice the face. I found it interesting.