A New Home
by Jacklyn Yuhanick
Buzzzz!!! Buzzzz!! The chainsaw worked its way through another branch on the pine tree in my front yard. The lumberjack slid his harness farther up the trunk, pushed his body higher and started up the chainsaw again. It wouldn't be long until the huge pine was a pile of sticks and needles.
Mom had said, "It'll open up the front yard, Alex. We'll have a better view of the house."
I wasn't sure I liked the idea of our pine tree being chopped up and hauled away. I liked hiding behind it. I liked collecting the needles and using them to sew leaves together. I liked gathering up pine cones to make bird feeders. I even liked the smell of the tree. It made the yard smell like Christmas, even in summer. I would miss that tree.
I watched out the window as the remaining branches tumbled to the ground and the lumberjack hacked away the trunk. Another man fed bits of the tree into a chipper, its teeth greedily grinding the small branches; the rest would be turned into logs for the fireplace.
The job was done. Mom stepped onto the porch to pay the lumberjack and his helper. I couldn't help feeling a little sad at never coming home to play near the great pine again.
Mom said, "You can go out and play now. They're all finished."
It was barely warm enough to not wear a jacket, the first of the spring, so I pulled on some shoes and went out. I decided to practice dribbling my soccer ball. I kicked it through the grass trying not to lose control. I used "fancy footwork" as my coach liked to say.
All of a sudden I felt a prick on my arm. I looked down to see a dot of red and a happy mosquito flying away.
It was the middle of the afternoon, not yet time for mosquitoes. Ouch! I'd been bit again, and then again. I ran back in the house.
"What's wrong?" Mom asked.
"I'm getting all bit up by mosquitoes," I said.
"Really" At this time of day?" she said.
"See. Look at my arm." I held out my arm where three pink welts were forming.
Mom took me into the bathroom and smeared some slimy green stuff on them to take the itching away. "You better stay inside."
I didn't understand why the mosquitoes were out. Wait! The pine tree was gone. I wondered if that had something to do with it. I went on the Internet and looked up mosquitoes. On the screen I read that mosquitoes like to live in dark, moist places.
Like under a pine tree. The branches on the tree reached all the way to the ground creating a dark, moist area.
"Mom, I know why the mosquitoes are out," I said.
"Why's that?" Mom said.
"Because the lumberjack cut down the tree. The mosquitoes lived under it and the lumberjack destroyed their home, so they came out to bite me."
"I never thought about that," Mom said. "You're right. What do you think we should do?"
"We need to buy a new tree and plant it, so the mosquitoes will have a new home and leave us alone. At least until it gets dark," I said.
"O.K. When your dad gets home, we can go pick out a tree at the nursery," Mom said.
As soon as Dad walked through the door I told him what happened. He agreed that we needed a new tree, so we piled into the car and drove to the nursery.
When we arrived, Mom said, "We're not getting another pine."
Dad said, "I don't want a tree that grows real big."
I said, "I want a tree that's fun. And of course it has to touch the ground for the mosquitoes."
I wandered down the aisles looking for a fun, small tree that would touch the ground.
I found the perfect one on the last row! It wasn't a pine. It wouldn't grow too big. The branches looked like fun and they touched the ground. I looked at the name. It said: Miniature Weeping Willow. I showed my parents.
"Perfect!" they said.
We purchased it, brought it home and planted it the next day. Now I can practice soccer without getting any bites and the front yard looks great!