The Haven
Published in

The Haven

An Open Letter to the Tree Beheaders Next Door

Thanks a bunch for turning up the heat.

Photo by Tom Podmore on Unsplash

Dear Canopy Cutter,

Great Britain’s King Henry VIII separated two of his wives from their heads. You just did the same for three regal-looking trees on your back lawn. Henry did it because he liked to collect wives. However, I can’t fathom your rationale. As far as I know, you’re not descended from a line of royal psychopaths, and I can’t see you wandering the neighborhood wearing ermine cloaks and white hose.

Photo: author

Here are some possible reasons for topping the innocent trees that graced your lawn. To put my mind at rest, can you indicate which ones apply to you?

  • By depriving me, your next-door neighbor, of three tall shade trees, you want to turn my house into a showroom for sun-bleached furniture.
  • You are an avid follower of the new suburban fashion: tree punk. It seems that miserable-looking, head-shaven trees are popping up all over suburbia.
  • You want to support executioner arborists like Gustav’s Chainsaw Massacre Tree Service — the green guillotiner you employed to assassinate your trees — who patrol suburban neighborhoods looking for likely victims.
  • You are self-deluded. Yes, the denuded trees will grow back, but that will take years, and even assuming you’re still living here when their canopies return, they will only be a shadow of their former selves and you’ll probably decapitate them anyway.
  • You have a macabre sense of humor. After adorning the neighborhood with headless trees what comes next? Bunny ears nailed to fences? Poison ivy wreaths on front doors? Decapitated sunflowers?
  • You are an arch climate change denier or someone with lizard genes who wants to inhabit a planetary desert.

Please shed some light — in addition to the blistering sunlight you’ve already shed on my house — on your murderous motives.

Yours Swelteringly,

The Orchid Hothouse Next Door

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K. B. Cottrill

K. B. Cottrill

Constantly losing the main plot while finding quirkier ones to write about for print, stage, and screen.