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The Apple Tree (standard:humor, 752 words)
Author: anonymousAdded: Dec 07 2009Views/Reads: 1643/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A cute Story about an old married couple
 



The Apple Tree 

Contented. If any one word is sufficient to describe a man, that will do
for Calvin Buck. That's not to say he would ever let his few acres go 
to weeds, or fail to keep his little farmhouse in good repair. In fact 
those are the very things he relishes doing, thriving on the same daily 
routine, from well before dawn until well after sunset. He goes 
cheerfully about the barnyard chores, then to his fields with equal 
joy. The smell of the rich brown earth and the growing crops is sweet 
to him; the stubborn rocks that defy him an invigorating challenge he 
accepts almost eagerly. The sun warms him, the rain cools him and he 
welcomes it all with deep satisfaction. His father and his grandfather 
before him asked for nothing more in life, and neither does he. As much 
as he enjoys the hard work, he nevertheless looks forward to the end of 
each day: those quiet moments following Martha's hearty suppers, when 
he sits in the old comfortable armchair next to his prized woodstove, 
while she sits opposite him, knitting or reading, the serenity broken 
only by the ticking of the clock, or the soft murmuring of one of the 
animals outside. Taciturn by nature, Calvin practices an economy of 
speech, as a rule, relying on his wife to initiate conversation. Her 
companionship pleases him, adding to his sense of peacefulness he 
craves. One particularly bright morning Calvin ventured over to a far 
corner of his property to clear a section he had been leaving until 
such a day as this. An old apple tree in the middle of it, no longer 
bearing fruit, once taken down would give him a nice little patch to 
cultivate. He set to work with his usual enthusiasm for physical labor 
and soon exposed a spreading tangle of roots. He spaded and chopped 
steadily until something abruptly stopped him with a metallic clank. 
Further scraping revealed an iron box the size of a small foot locker 
lying at his feet, forcing a low grunt of curiosity from Calvin. It was 
heavy, but no more so than many a rock he moves often, so he lifted it 
onto the wagon. Later, back at the barn, he would chisel off the rusted 
hinges and examine the contents. During supper that evening Calvin was 
not himself. Indeed, then and later, as they took their customary 
places in the living room, he seemed more preoccupied than usual, with 
frequent glances at his wife. In due time and after several throat 
clearings, he spoke. As casually as he could, he remarked that he had 
been wondering, idly, one day recently, what it would be like to be 
rich. Had she ever had any thought that way? What she would do with a 
lot of money? As it turned out, she had. More than once apparently. 
Given this rare opportunity, she dwelled at some length on the subject, 
as Calvin sat in transfixed silence. His expression remained unchanged, 
unless someone noted his jaw tightening while his eyes narrowed ever so 
slightly. The flush of red could very well have something to do with 
his close proximity to the beloved woodstove..which, did he hear, she 
would immediately replace with a nice modern unit? And the furniture 
would have to go? His fingers dug into the padded arms of his 
comfortable old rocker, while he awaited the next blow. It was soon 
coming. New appliances and furniture would of course would never be 
right in this old house. A new house in town would free him from all 
that hard daily toil and she could entertain and have socials in the 
evenings. New clothes, naturally, would be needed. Calvin listened 
stoically throughout, with occasional nods at proper moments, until as 
a gradual silence announced that it was getting late, he remembered one 
chore he thought to take care of yet, but she needn't sit up. The moon 
was bright that night, illuminating a figure pulling a wagon across the 
darkened field to a place where an old apple tree stood, partly 
unearthed. Wrenched from the wagon, a large metal box dropped with a 
thud into the hole beneath the tree, disappearing quickly as the soil 
from which it came again covered it. For several moments Calvin stood 
motionless, reflecting on the years gone by that this tree had been in 
this very place. Everything has it's place, he decided, turning to head 
home. Old roots go deep. 


   


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