I was genetically engineered for strength, sprayed with chemicals to encourage bravery, and given just the right ratio of sunlight to water to produce laser-leaves. There’s just one little hitch, and it’s got the whole city’s police force trembling at the real prospect of losing their jobs for endorsing investment in my creation. See, the only problem is that (from a human perspective) I’m not very fast.


My walkie-talkie will start crackling, warning me about a robbery currently taking place on 33rd Street. After a little preparatory leaf-rustling, I slowly extract one root from the soil. When it’s free, I start working on the next root. Meanwhile, I get a call about an assault on Maple Lane. I start to turn my trunk to the west to deal with that emergency. I lift one more root, then pause to rest. My walkie-talkie crackles again. A kid is drowning in the lake.

By the time all my 444 roots of various sizes are standing atop the grass, ready for duty, police cars have zipped out of the station headed in all directions of issue. I suppose my service won’t be necessary, especially since the last time I followed a police car to a destination the verdict had been reached before I arrived at the scene of the crime. So I sigh and start burying my roots back beneath the soil, one after the other…


After root number 20, the walkie-talkie starts crackling again. I reach down with one of my branches to turn it off.

A kitten strolls into the yard while my branch is reaching towards the ground. I hold still, and she climbs onto me. I lift her up to fly several feet above the earth. She curls up in a cranny, purring. When she indicates restlessness, I bend over to let her down safely.

I am the mighty Tree-Man. I save the day by making it more fun for kittens. I take life slow, and if humans were more like me, perhaps they would suffer less crime.


Image credits in order of appearance:

“Leaf at Rocky Point of McDonald Lake” by Wing-Chi Poon – self-made; at Rocky Point of McDonald Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons –

“CHP Police Interceptor Utility Vehicle” by California Highway Patrol – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –

“Stray kitten Rambo001” by Krzysztof P. JasiutowiczKpjas – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –


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