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Soggers’ Path greeting — 2000 year-end!

I’m a crookedy tree, and it’s quite plain to see
     Where a deer took a nibble and munch out of me.
It was really my fault when he came to a halt
     And started to look through the fence longingly.

Well, I was the closest—my branches and tip
     Stuck out through the posts where the wire had a rip,
So I said,  “Go ahead, I’ve got plenty to spare.
     Next year when I grow I won’t know you’ve been there.”

So he said,  “Thanks a bunch! I’ve missed out on my lunch.
     All this cold snow and walking caught me in a crunch.
I’ve gone a bit lame. Things are just not the same.
     No one cares much for wild deer. They all want them tame.”

So he ate a la carte. Then he had to depart,
     But he said he’d remember me well in his heart.
He had to get home to his place by a creek,
     With a stump and a pump and a bird with a squeak.

Now the fellow who grew us collected our pots
     And trucked us all live to the Christmas tree lots,
And we got bought and sold—all except, that is, me
     Because nobody wanted a lopsided tree.

Well, the days hurried past and so did the buyers,
     For we were well advertised in the news flyers.
Close to Christmas Eve almost all trees had a home
     Except, that is, me and a slightly trashed gnome.

And though we sat there, bravely smiling with hope,
     The people walked by, shook their heads and said, “Nope.
It’s lost half its side where a branch ought to clump.
     There’s no place on top for a star—just a stump.

 “And as for that gnome, his hat’s lost all its tassel.
     We don’t want a fellow who’s been in a hassle.
We want something perfect and pretty, not bruised.
     That tree and the gnome look as though they’ve been used.”

So the salesman made up a fine red and green sign
     Saying ‘Half Price’, and leaned it against a pot—MINE!
And he said with a frown,  “I won’t take them from town.
     I’ll throw them away, close the lot and shut down.”

Friendly gnome kept his smile and said,  “After awhile,
     When the rest are all gone, we’ll stand out from the pile.”
So we waited and waited. Just as we gave up
     Along came a man, woman, girl and a pup.

Their old truck was bent where it hit some cement,
     And the truck box was roofed with a green canvas tent,
But they laughed quite a lot, and they stopped at my pot
     When the little girl said,  “Daddy, look what they’ve got!

 “That tree’s just the thing to replace our old Friend.
     We won’t even have to give branches a bend.
That bald spot will fit snug against her old stump,
     And the gnome can keep company right by the pump.

 “He can have my old tocque, the one with the bobble.
     That flat top on the tree is just right for poor Hobble.
He still loves to sit in a tree top and sing,
     Even though he’s off key and has lost half a wing.

 “It’s lovely and snug. He can perch easily,
     And Lame Deer can sit by the side of the tree.
The squirrels will have fir cones, the birds will get bugs,
     And it’s just the right place for the hummingbird jugs.”

Well, Mom looked at Dad and the little girl smiled,
     And the salesman was really intrigued with the child,
So he said,  “For a buck you can have the whole lot.”
     Dad found in his pocket a looney and bought.

Now, you see, all this happened a few years ago,
     And the farm where they planted me deep in the snow
Is a shelter for all things a bit crookedy,
     And the name of the place is The Lopsided Tree.

—Lynetta & Per              

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