Listen closely, someone off in the distance yelling timber. A tree falls to the ground, an axe is left standing, stuck in the tree’s trunk. A man yanks the axe out, a certain lumberjack, ironically named Jack. Jack the lumberjack, a giant man with a hair and beard as long as his axe, whom he named Steven for some reason. 

A tree falls again, this time louder with dust flying everywhere, a scream. Jack picks up his axe from the stub from where the tree once stood. He continues marching in search of the next tree, remembering back to his past. His childhood was dim, and so was his memory of that, all he can remember is his axe. 

Another tree falls, this one seems bigger, however, upon its fall it was quiet, like it didn’t expect it. Again, he picks up his axe, with a bit of struggle this time, and marches on, in hopes of another tree to cut and collect. The axe from his childhood might have been a gift from his mother and father, before his mother left. She skipped town in search of fun times and the many things that come with it. She never wanted to be a mom, she never wanted that ideal family life, the generic nuclear family disgusted her so she left her two kids, motherless. 

A tiny little tree, but with a quick glance, it’s obvious it has hopes and dreams, to help people and provide shade when it is all grown and big. All that aside, it would look great in Jack’s fireplace, so it got chopped. Though it was the smallest, it felt like the loudest upon its fall all. It reminded Jack of his brother, Junior, who left not so long after his mother; the size of the tree reminded Jack of what little memory he had left of his brother, with his small, frail frame. His brother, when running from their father when Jack failed to be there, ran into a street where a speeding car took his life, going about 44 kilometers per hour. 

Jack finds a new tree, the biggest tree of them all, the burliest of the batch. The large tree took Jack many chops to get down, but he got it, with the loudest crash, but one of the quietest yells. Jack pulled his axe from what was left of the trunk, his axe covered in sap, went on to collect the tree and the many other trees he chopped down. The tree reminded him of his dad, the biggest of them all. He always remembered looking at his dad as being the biggest and strongest man around, however, he could never be the bigger person. After his mom left, his father, Steven Sr., would struggle with addiction and would never recover or stay stagnant, but would only get worse. The addiction hit its peak after Junior’s death, when he was running for his life from Steven Sr., chasing after him with an axe. He died almost a decade later, still unknown how. 

As Jack walks back to his house, loading the bed of his truck with the remains of the trees, he thinks back to what little he can remember. He thinks of his regrets and the many people who influenced him positively or negatively. Jack eventually reaches his cabin, a nice wooden cabin, alone and isolated, unknown if it’s by choice. Jack enters his modern, cozy cabin, stretches a little bit, and walks to his couch. Just before Jack sits down, he throws the little tree into the fireplace. The young tree kept squirming in the fireplace and crackled as loud as ever, but it provided a nice warmth felt throughout the house. Jack finally sits, but feels the presence of his dad, he feels as if he is watching over him, but nothing is near, just a mounted tree trunk. Jack then picks up the newspaper and reads through it all, very thoroughly, and it has a bizarre title page, “Count up to 27”. He just looks over it, unfazed nor curious. One could feel bad for those poor old trees, maybe pity, but not Jack. As it’s his self-proclaimed job to be rid of those trees, but who’s to say they were ever trees?


Photo Credit: Lumberjack with Axe | Lumberjack preparing to throw his axe … | Flickr