A Crossing Story: Caring for the Trees

Another short story based on the Crossing Series: Peter lifted four-year old Joshua onto his shoulders as they climbed the steps to the office. “If you want to grow up and work with us like your daddy, then you need to remember that logging is about much more than cutting down trees and getting them to the mill.”

“You have to obey God?” said Joshua.

Peter chuckled as he wiped the snow from his boots on the coarse mat before ducking through the doorway. “Well, yes. In the very beginning, God created man to rule over all the earth.” Peter set Joshua down on the floor. “But He doesn’t want us to be careless. We are to take care of it.”

“We have to take care of the trees?”

“Yes.” Peter walked over to his mom’s desk and laid a few papers down in her inbox before turning back to look at Joshua. “All the plants of the forest and all the animals that depend on it for food and shelter.”

Joshua went to look out the front window. His little hand touched the cold glass. “But how do we do that if we are cutting the trees down?”

“Well, lots of ways,” said Peter, sitting on the corner of the desk. “We make sure we don’t cut down too many trees. We make sure we clean up behind ourselves when we cut trees down and then plant new trees to grow in areas we’ve harvested.”

Joshua turned to face Peter. “I like planting new trees with Daddy.”

“Me too,” said Peter. “But that’s not all. We can also watch the other trees to make sure they are healthy. We can help protect them from getting sick or getting bugs that will hurt them.”

“That sounds like a lot, Mr. Peter. How do you remember all that?”

“I went to school to learn a lot of it, but my daddy taught me all kinds of things when I was growing up. Just like your daddy will teach you.”

Joshua scrunched up his face. “Did my daddy learn it in school too?”

“Your daddy learned all kinds of things in school, but most of what he knows about the forest he learned from my daddy, Mr. Frank.”

“His daddy wasn’t a very good man,” said Joshua.

“Your grandpa had some problems, Joshua, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t love your daddy. And God made sure that your daddy had Mr. Frank to help him when your grandpa was having a hard time.”

Joshua looked back out the window, quiet for a moment. “So, God told Mr. Frank to watch over my daddy like He told us to take care of the trees.”

Peter smiled and reached out to rustle the boy’s hair. “Yeah, I guess He did, buddy.” He watched as complete peace transformed Joshua’s face and his trusting eyes sought Peter.

“Come on,” said Peter. “Let’s go find your daddy and see if he’d like to join us on a walk to see what delicious pie my mom made today.”

”Yeah!” Joshua ran to the door and began the careful trip down the stairs. “I sure hope it’s apple!”

[If you’d like to read other short stories based on the Crossing series, click here.]

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