How Trees Walk

: Fables For Children, Stories For Children, Natural Science Stori

One day we were cleaning an overgrown path on a hillock near the pond.

We cut down a lot of brier bushes, willows, and poplars,--then came the

turn of a bird-cherry. It was growing on the path, and it was so old and

stout that it could not be less than ten years old. And yet I knew that

five years ago the garden had been cleaned. I could not understand how

such an old bird-cherry could have grown out there. We cut it down and

went farther. Farther away, in another thicket, there grew a similar

bird-cherry, even stouter than the first. I looked at its root, and saw

that it grew under an old linden. The linden with its branches choked

it, and it had stretched out about twelve feet in a straight line, and

only then came out to the light, raised its head, and began to blossom.

I cut it down at the root, and was surprised to find it so fresh, while

the root was rotten. After we had cut it down, the peasants and I tried

to pull it off; but no matter how much we jerked at it, we were unable

to drag it away: it seemed to have stuck fast. I said:

"Look whether it has not caught somewhere."

A workman crawled under it, and called out:

"It has another root; it is out on the path!"

I walked over to him, and saw that it was so.

Not to be choked by the linden, the bird-cherry had gone away from

underneath the linden out on the path, about eight feet from its former

root. The root which I had cut down was rotten and dry, but the new one

was fresh. The bird-cherry had evidently felt that it could not exist

under the linden, so it had stretched out, dropped a branch to the

ground, made a root of that branch, and left the other root. Only then

did I understand how the first bird-cherry had grown out on the road. It

had evidently done the same,--only it had had time to give up the old

root, and so I had not found it.