Friday, March 18, 2016

The Tall Fall

Once upon a time, there was a woodchopper who lived and worked in the forest. He was the tallest woodchopper in the world, but he didn't know this because he chopped so fast and had not met any other woodchoppers. He knew a lot of trees, though, until, in the future, he didn't know them at all except as memory.

The woodchopper ever found himself taller than the remaining trees in the forest, a forest that was slowly becoming a wood. As he proceeded with his task, with each tree chopped and falling trunkwise behind him, he never asked himself what happened to the wood he had already chopped.

Being a shy woodchopper, intense and lonely, as well as a tall woodchopper, the tallest in fact, he tended to proceed through the wood day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year, with left food as wages, leaving the trunks left lying upon the beds of leaves that had fallen from their branches before he chopped down the trunk, leaving others to pick up the trees and load them on lorries.

By the time the woodchopper came towards the end of the wood where the wood itself ended, he saw the last tree in the distance, a tree that he knew would be the last tree he chopped down – and gradually he realised it would be the first tree that was taller than him, a tree through some paradox of its distance from him had originally seemed shorter than him, shorter than all the trees.

Finally approaching this last tree - tallest of them all, and the only one taller than he was, the only tree left standing - he couldn't see the wood for the trees, or he could indeed see it with nothing left behind it, and he could still hear the lorries behind picking up the trees he left upon leaves together with the shouts of men as they made small talk over their loading work.

The woodchopper suddenly felt the yearning for human contact for the first time in his life. He vowed to turn and shake the hand of the first man or woman he met but, first, he needed to chop down the last tree of all, so tall, so upfast and lonely, indeed taller and more upfast and more lonely than the woodchopper himself, so immeasurably tall he could not predict how far it would fall and what would happen next.

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