The Case of the Missing Tree (True Story)



Before I tell this story, I need to tell the back-story. About ten years ago (wow) I was living with my friends Brendan and George. They took me in after I moved home from living in NYC and helped me get on my feet. While there, we had great meals, fun talks, and just plain weird experiences. One of those was a day that Brendan and I were hanging out in the backyard. George had been at his cottage all day and came home. And he came home pissed. His face was red, smoke pouring out of his ears, that kind of thing. “Where’s my tree?” he asked angrily. Brendan and I just looked at each other. We asked, of course, what he was talking about. “Someone took my beautiful tree out of the front yard!”

It was sort of a crazy thing to say since that tree was like thirty feet tall and massive. You don’t just take a tree. And anyway, we’d have noticed, right? The three of us walked to the front of the yard. George pointed to a spot in the middle of the yard that was covered with fresh dirt and seeds and, indeed, no tree. During the day, someone had come and taken the entire tree…and Brendan and I never noticed.


We found out later that a tree company messed up. They were supposed to take and dispose of a diseased tree down the street, but someone transposed the address and they ended up taking Brendan and George’s tree instead. Still, a crazy thing to have happen. It made me realize though, that weird shit does indeed happen.




Flash forward ten years. I’m staring at my backyard looking perplexed. Kealoha looks at me and says, “What’s wrong?”


I turn to him and I say… “I can’t believe this but there’s a tree missing in my backyard. Look! Look at that stump!” I point to a tree in the yard that is no longer a tree but a stump. In my mind, I remember lush green foliage. Someone came into my yard, probably in the dead of winter, and decapitated my tree, mulched the evidence and took off.


“Are you sure?” Kealoha asks in a way that makes me sort of question myself.


“Weird,” I say. I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong.




Mom has come over to look after the kids. When I get home, she’s staring at my backyard with a perplexed look on her face.


“What’s wrong?” I ask her.


“There’s a tree missing from your backyard. Look! Look at that stump!” She says. (I swear to God this is true.)


See? See! I want to cry out! Someone stole my tree. They done stoled it!


I begin immediate research. Research, meaning, I stare at the stump and try to come up with a possible story. I think the neighbor behind me did it. She never liked that tree. Said there were branches falling into her yard. And didn’t she have a tree company come and trim her tree? Yes! She did! I remember! She trimmed her tree and then she had them consume mine!


I am just about to find a gauntlet and go over there and smack her across the face and challenge her to a duel. Or at least a bake-off.


Then it occurs to me that maybe I’d better double check. I scroll through pictures taken a year ago when I moved into the house. And the evidence I need is there. The solution to the mystery. CASE SOLVED


There in front of me is a picture of my yard over a year ago, when I moved in, and there is the tree…that is not a tree but a stump. A stump! There was never a tree there! I made the whole thing up!

Worse, is that my mom made the whole thing up too. We were both certain that someone had snuck into my yard in the depths of winter, probably in a burglar costume, sawed down that tree and took it, just to freak me out.




It’s official. I may possibly be some sort of splice or clone of my mother…which would also explain the sudden attraction I have to collecting boxes.