By Brenda E Holmes
They stood there watching day after day, week after week, always faithfully following the changes of the seasons. There was just something different about these trees. They stood in a grove, a grouping of trees on the north side of town. They had been there for years. From time to time, people had clamored to have them cut down but for strange reasons, this had never come to pass.
One year, a prosperous bombastic entrepreneur had decided to buy the land and clear it in order to build a business center. He showed up on a gray blustery day with his heavy machinery and proceeded towards the grove. The closer he got, the more nervous he became. His palms sweated and his heart raced. Gritting his teeth he pressed on and actually managed to get within inches of the largest tree before falling dead of a massive heart attack as his hand reached for the lever to start .
After this, no one mentioned clearing the grove and years passed into years and soon the old stories were forgotten.
Still, the trees stood, weathering the changes and standing as stalwart as they had for eons. This caught the eye of Chloe Masters, a young aspiring botanist who had grown up in the town and had always been fascinated by the particular group of trees. She had often visited the spot and stood marveling at the colors of the foliage and textures of bark for they were just a bit different .Nothing obvious but just a shade off from the trees surrounding them but nothing one could really put their finger on. Just a vague feeling that something was different, not like the whole.
She decided that it was time to do a study of the grove. Take pictures, collect data and generally determine the age of each individual tree but especially the largest specimen. It stood at least 10 feet higher than those around it and this had not changed ever. Even the old men Chloe interviewed at the hardware store, remarked on this saying that that tree had been taller in the grandparents day and farther back……