Skip to content

What's the best tree story ever told? Tri-City youth relay their tales

The winning entries for the second annual writing contest by The Wonderous Tree Fellowship.
Writing winners (left to right) Gemma Lam, Clara Lam and Aaron Paddon.

Three Tri-City youth last week were named the winners of The Best Tree Story Ever Told, the second annual writing contest by The Wonderous Tree Fellowship.

The entries by Aaron Paddon, Gemma Lam and Clara Lam rose to the top with judges Catherine, Renee and Matt choosing the stand outs, noting, "The stories were relatable on so many levels" and told in "heartfelt and witty" ways.

Here's what the scribes wrote: 


The Protector of the River

Small tree near the river so wet, sun rain and even snow it all gets. Near the river raging or calm, waiting for the beautiful salmon to spawn. Small tree like a house providing cover for a fish or a mouse. Using its branches to provide cover all while being watched by his tall tree mother. 

--Aaron Paddon 


My Tree Friend

I have a friend a friend that's a tree, compared to him I'm the size of a flea. But size doesn't matter to my tall tree friend as will be friends till the very very end. My tall tree friend I named him Gerald and even his other friend Mr. Squirrel is named Harold! He might not walk talk or even swim but even him can make me smile and grin. He is my best friend the only one I've ever had he helps me when I'm upset or sad. no matter what he'll always be with me my huge tall friend Mr. Tree.

--Aaron Paddon


Forest Magic

“Sitka lunch time!” my dad calls from down stairs. I drop my book and clamber down to the kitchen. I see my dad sitting at the end of the table with a plate of leftover pizza. I spot my pizza sitting on the counter so I grab it and take my seat. Oh how rude of me, I almost forgot to introduce myself self. I’m Sitka Spruce and I’m 11 years old. I live in a small house surrounded by trees with my dad. My mom died when I was four but I’m happy here with my dad now. “Sitka”, my dad says for the third time “are you gonna eat your food or just stare at it?” “Oh uhh sorry I kinda zoned out there”, I say as I pick up my soggy piece of pizza. “Dad” I say as I finish the last bite“ can I go outside?” “Okay hon.” I put my plate in the sink before grabbing my coat and book and hurried outside to my favourite patch of trees. As I approach the the forest I notice something different, something that hadn’t been there just this morning. It is a notice! I take a step forward to take a better look and gasp in horror when I realize what it says. The notice states that next week the City will be cutting down most of the trees around my house to build a parking lot for large City vehicles when not in use. You might think “oh that could be useful”, but out of all places, they choose to flatten a beautiful healthy forest? My dad used to tell me that my mom and him met under a sitka spruce tree. That’s why they named me Sitka Spruce. I don’t know if it’s because my parents met under a tree or because I’m named after a tree, but I seem to have a special connection with the forest. I know immediately that I have to save my forest.  I have a week to figure out how.  I rushed inside to tell my dad. When I explained to him what was happening he looked almost as worried as I did. “How am I, Sitka Spruce, supposed to save all these trees?” I wondered out loud as I paced back and forth in the living room. I decided to go on a walk in the forest to clear my mind.  About five minutes later I stopped dead in my tracks. Something magical had caught my eye! It was a ring of mushrooms. Their whiteness seemed to have a translucent glow. They reminded me of my favourite fairy tale my mom used to read to me, about a fairy princess who summoned a fairy ring to solve her quest. This gave me an idea, a wonderful idea! I would summon all creatures that cared for the forest habitat!  I close my eyes and slowly counted back from 10. When I reached one, I heard something rustling in the bushes. I opened my eyes. The first to arrive had been  the raven now sitting directly in front of me on a low cedar branch. An eagle circled over head and landed in the tall fir tree to my right. I look towards the bush to my left and a black bear’s head poked out. I know normally I would’ve been terrified of this, but for some odd reason I had no fear in my body. I knew why they were there. The raven fluttered down from the tree branch, settling itself on the soft moss. We now formed a circle around the mushroom circle. As we stand there in silence, people start emerging from the forest and form larger concentric rings. Murmurs turn to song as we start sharing story’s about how the forest is important to us. The more we shared the more we began to care and we found ourselves guided by the raven through the surrounding neighbourhoods. The more we educate the people about forest awareness and care, the larger our group grew. As the raven landed on the door step of City Hall, the eagle flew circles over head. The black bear lumbered and took their place right of the door, and called all creatures to speak their concerns. As I walk up the steps I noticed my dad coming up beside me. I grab his hand and squeeze it tight. When we got inside, the room was full of people who also didn’t want the trees to be cut. By the end of a long day, by uniting and coming together to share our concerns and educate our neighbours as well as City Councillors, we were able to convey how wrong cutting the trees was. The City agreed that cutting these beautiful mature trees was a bad idea and everything went back to a great normal life again with the amazing trees. --Jemma Lam  

Finding a New Home-tree

Acorn the red squirrel is a mother of two kits, Huckleberry and Cedar. They lived in a huge western red cedar old growth tree. Twig was their neighbour squirrel and he lived in the same tree. Every day, Acorn would check the forest for lumberjacks. They were now only three trees away from her home-tree. It was a good thing it took the lumberjacks a whole day to cut one tree with a saw because the squirrels could then just move into the next tree that wasn’t already cut down. It wouldn’t be their home but it was better than being unsheltered. The next day, the lumberjacks had a new type of saw. It was a chainsaw. The lumberjacks could now cut down the whole forest in only 2 days. Acorn saw the new chainsaw and warned all of the animals. The birds flew to the forest on the other side of the city but the rest of the animals had to walk through the city to get to there.

The animals left their food stores and homes behind them and started the big journey across the city. They walked all day until they found a tree in a city park where they could rest.  Unfortunately a city raccoon already lived there. Twig wanted to stay but the raccoon didn’t want to share, so Acorn challenged raccoon to a fight. Acorn was no match for a raccoon, and he was injured. Twig tried to cross the road to safety but a car ran over him. Acorn and the other squirrels were sad but it was getting late and they needed somewhere safe to sleep for the night.  They made a deal with Raccoon to steal human food for him in exchange for shelter.  Fortunately it was pretty easy for the squirrels to find human food in the park’s garbage cans.

The next day, the squirrels were awoken by a barking dog. They didn’t have another tree to jump to so they stayed there until his owner called him away. Finally it was time for the squirrels to carry on their journey to find a tree to call home but first Huckleberry had an idea.  He wanted more human food so he led his family into a food truck. They ate French fries and pizza. This was not as tasty as forest nuts but somehow they couldn’t stop eating the human food and they had a feast. Cedar even tried the whipped cream, it was weird. Everyone was very full. Al of a sudden, the truck started to drive away, with the squirrels still on-board.  They watched as the food truck drove outside the city and into the other forest. They were saved!! The squirrels ran into the forest and found a new tree home.  

I hope that humans will stop destroying our forests.  They are homes to so many animals and ecosystems. Acorn and her family were very lucky but so many other animal families didn’t make it.

--Clara Lam