Freakish Growth

No logical explanation existed for the unique life of an apple tree beside Righteous Pond. It grew taller and sprawled wider than any tree of any kind before it or since. And it nearly drained and destroyed the pond.

The tree seemed innocent enough at first. It soaked up the sun, drank in the rain through its roots, and grew at a pace consistent with its surroundings. Apples fell to the ground and into the pond and didn't much bother a thing. The tree reached a typical twelve foot height and could have lived out its days at that size.

But this apple tree developed something other plant life lacked. Its branches liked growing. Its roots enjoyed drinking. When its natural growth slowed, the branches reached out still farther. When the roots felt thirsty, they dug themselves deeper. Eventually the roots broke through the bank of Righteous Pond and tapped into more water than the most torrential of rain storms ever brought. With this new access, the tree learned to manage its own growth.

Around the time of the tree's fiftieth birthday, it was already bigger than any apple tree in history, over forty feet tall and equally wide in its wing span. Gradually the branches spread out over the pond. The more it grew, the more its growth rate increased, and the more this escalation in growth rate became essential to its happiness. By the time it turned one hundred years old, it was taller and reached wider than any California redwood, defying nature with its freakish size. Its apples grew in size concordantly with its body, falling like small boulders onto the ground and into the pond.

By year one hundred and fifty, its growth was no longer sustainable. It had nearly drunk the pond dry. Branches hung low, strained by the weight of heavy apples, and began to split and snap off. The tree's trunk leaned over the pond and its roots could no longer support it. It was only a matter of time, it was always a matter of time, and one day the tree collapsed, uprooted, and fell into what was left of Righteous Pond.

In the years thereafter, the pond was lucky enough to slowly refill. Water surrounding the dead tree gradually caused the wood to wither away, erasing any evidence of its existence.


  1. Hmmmmm, pretty awesome metaphor. I really enjoyed this!

  2. There are definitely reasons why things are the size they are. Mother nature has her own way of keeping things in balance.

    And I have this awful feeling that we are ourselves just like that apple tree.

  3. I really liked this Richard. A very good metaphor!

  4. As the tree drank the pond, in the end the pond drank the tree. I feel a Disney song coming up. It frightens me.

  5. And this is why growth model economics etc.... I liked this one, liked its fairy-tale quality. In the time to come, we may well need to tell it around campfires.