Swings And Surprises
The first swing made the tree squirt vile liquid.
The next made it flow like a river. By the time he was nearly through the trunk, another mystery appeared – a strange object that had no place in a living tree.
Marcus was proud of his large plot of land.
It gave his kids plenty of space to run and play and he and his wife to have a vegetable garden. However, having sizable acreage came with its own set of problems – and one that would soon boggle his mind. The strange ordeal started with a tiny creature.
Keeping It Natural
He kept a small plot for grass for their back patio, but Marcus preferred to let nature take its course through the rest of the woodlands. He also loved the sound of the wind through the pines and the smell of the autumn leaves.
One day, however, he noticed something troubling.
An Annoying Pest
It dangled from a single thread and swayed back and forth with the breeze.
Its long body and stumpy legs wiggled and squirmed. Marcus followed the thin, glistening line until it met a huge cluster of the little monsters. They were tent caterpillars and they had made a silken nest in the branches of and old tree. But they weren’t just disgusting.
They Are Relentless
For anyone who’s lived in nature for more than a couple months, knows the blight that those little worms can be.
Not only do they eat every scrap of leaf they can get their mouths on, but they can also damage or outright kill the tree. And worse … the spread like the plague. Marcus ran to his garden shed.
Getting Rid Of Them
He really didn’t want to use chemical bug killer, especially in a place where his kids played, but there really was no choice. He gathered his tools and went into the forest with determination, killing as many as he could find.
Suddenly, he came upon one very sick looking tree … with a strange substance oozing from the bark. What on earth had those pests done to his forest?!
It’s Not Sap
This wasn’t sap. Whatever the liquid was, it was slimy and very smelly.
He had never seen this kind of disease before. But the most painful part was that the sickness seemed to have spread to the entire tree. There was no saving it. The only choice was to cut it down. Little did he know the tree had a secret.
Taking Down The Tree
The moment the kids saw him walk to the forest with his axe, the grabbed their coats to follow – thinking that he was collecting wood for an outdoor bonfire (and the inevitable roasted marshmallows).
He explained what he was doing, but they were still adamant they wanted to join him. Marcus made sure they were far away then swung the axe as hard as he could.
The first hit made a small squirt of the smelly liquid jet out like a fountain. My god it smelled vile.
The next hit brought an even bigger stream. It wasn’t long until there was a brown river gushing out of the trunk. The entire area took on the horrible stench that made him want to puke.
Kids Ran Away
The kids had already sprinted away to a safer, and more pleasant smelling, vantage point.
Suddenly, a worrying thought popped into his head. What if this liquid could make other trees sick as well? Could he lose his entire, precious forest? He quickly looked on his phone for answers.
Oops, Should Have Left It
Marcus cursed under his breath – apparently, he should have left it alone and it would have been fine.
But it was too late, the tree had to come down, he would have to keep an eye on its healthy neighbors and tell the homes around him to be careful as well (like a nature quarantine). But before he took the next swing, he spotted something odd in the hollow trunk.
The white orb was the last thing he would have ever expect to find in the area.
He swung until he finally got through the trunk and the forest echoed with the sound of cracking wood and breaking branches. He pulled out his phone to take a photo. No one was going to believe this.
It was a golf ball!
But without any golf courses in the area – now or in the past (at least as far as he knew) – how did it get in there? Maybe a sports enthusiast had lived there before and used the lot as a practice range? Maybe it was just someone messing around?
Either way, it was an interesting find.
Showing The World
Of course, even if it was clean, he wasn’t going to let his kids play with it since it had been sitting the sludgy liquid for who knows how long.
But he did post the event on social media. The response was surprising overwhelming. There were your standard “fakes” and trolls, but many people put forth some useful wisdom.
Horticulturists around the world gave him advice on how to keep the “heart rot” from affecting the rest of the forest.
It was a funny little story he would be able to tell his friends in the future – and he would keep the golf ball as funny proof – just in the shed, away from the kids.