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The Courtyard Tree (standard:other, 3553 words)
Author: Shamoil AhmadAdded: Jul 28 2010Views/Reads: 1693/1054Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
The ugliest site on the earth is a man shivering out of fear.
 



The  Courtyard Tree						Shamoil Ahmad 

Terrorists had entered from the main door, breaking it open and he had
fled towards the rear door. The rear door was at the farthest end of 
the courtyard and it opened into the alley...but he could not make it 
to...for, while fleeing from the courtyard his linen had got caught in 
one of the branches of the tree that had bent almost down to the earth. 


It was the very tree that had sprung up in the courtyard, which he
himself had tended for so long... 

Long ago the tree was not there and those were the days of his
childhood. His mother took special care to keep the courtyard clean. 
She never allowed the leaves to gather in the courtyard. One fine 
morning he had descried a tiny plant grown in the courtyard. Its leaves 
were tiny and the overnight dewdrops had made them still tendered and 
looked yellowish. The top leave had thick dew on it. He had an impulse 
to feel it with his hand...and no sooner, he had touched it than it 
rolled down the leaf...In sheer surprise he had looked at his fingertip 
where the dew had gathered. He had then scampered off to his mother. 
Mother was then kneading flour and the beads of her ear-tops were 
swaying back and forth. When he informed her that a plant had sprung up 
in the courtyard, she merely smiled and continued with her occupation. 

Mother looked at the plant. She thought it was some fruit-bearing tree.
To father it appeared to be the Indian rosewood tree. The old doors 
needed replacement. He thought he could replace them with the rosewood. 


He now took it upon himself to tend the plant every morning and evening.
After returning from school, he would sit down by its side. He would 
touch the tender leaves and become immensely happy. 

Once a neighbor’s goat strayed in from the hind door of the backyard. He
was then preparing to go to school. He did not notice it at first, but 
once the goat came close to the plant and chucked a few leaves, he 
threw his bags and rushed out with a baton in his hand. The goat 
scampered off. His eyes shed a few drops of despondent tears. He shut 
the door of backyard and went to his mother with wet eyes. Mother 
pacified him and father had the plant fortified with bricks. From that 
day on, he remained on the lookout for the goat. If ever it dared to 
enter, he would break its legs. He occasionally peep through the alley 
to see if it was lurking around ...and if ever it was seen , he would 
lie in wait ready with a stick in his hand. Once his father even 
chastised him for this. His mother would laugh at him for his 
attachment to the plant. Once she said. 

‘’As you grow , the tree will also grow with you.’’ 

Mother had begun to take care of the tree. While sweeping the courtyard,
she would often water it. The plant had begun to grow. Soon it had 
branched out with green leaves sprouting. Even so, she had not been 
able to recognize the tree.  Father still thought it was rosewood.  
Mother no longer thought that it was a tree that it could yield fruit, 
but the tree had its roots firmly planted and had developed into a 
veritable tree. 

Now butterflies had also befriended the leaves. He would often try to
catch them. Once a plum got stuck to his finger. He felt bad and never 
again tried to catch them. He would now just watch them and when they 
would fly away, he would run after them. But he never liked the 
presence of chameleon in the courtyard.  The sight of the shaking of 
its head was repulsive to him. Once a chameleon went up the tree. and 
began to shake its head violently which filled him with  disdain    He 
picked up a pebble and aimed at it but thought it would bring down some 
leaves. ...then he merely thumped his feet on the ground making  a big  
sound of thud. 

Chameleon ran quickly down and he threw the pebble at it . The pebble
hit the ground and deviated on to a litter-box kept in the courtyard.  
It made a ringing sound whereupon mother peeped out of the window and 
finding him in the sun began to chide him . He now began to keep 
constant supervision on the tree. With the passage of time it bloomed 
into a full-grown tree and he also passed the matriculation 


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