Essay by 2hvy4grvty December 2007

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A sudden jerk woke Luke from his sleep; his chest felt sore from another pummeling that Henry, the school bully, gave him the day before. A humble and withdrawn boy, Luke was viewed as a pushover by all the other students. It did not help that he was only five-five and a scrawny stick, weighing a mere 120 pounds. Luke felt that he had no purpose in life and was living day by day not knowing why he was studying or why he was living. However, that morning he felt smaller than usual. Luke knew something was wrong; he called for his mom, but there was no reply. He tried to summon his parents again, still to no avail. Luke climbed out of bed, more so rolled out of bed and onto the floor with his chest still beating in pain. Suddenly, a strong breeze from his left carried him through the air and out the window.

He landed outside in a deep puddle that came from last night’s rainfall. As he tried to roll to his upright position, he glanced at his reflection from the puddle, and he noticed a strange change in his appearance – in fact, he was skeptical whether it was even him. Luke began to panic; his body became drenched in sweat and miry rainwater. Suddenly, his eyes closed and the world had begun to spin. When he regained control, he found himself embedded in what appeared to be fertile soil. I’m no longer human, Luke thought. It was true, he was now a mustard seed. This was unbelievable; he went from being a low-life outcast that everyone hated and harassed to an even more humiliating, shameful, and worthless mustard seed. Luke broke down, he cried all through the day and well into night. He was on the brink of despair; how could he transform into something more inferior than what he used to be, how was it even possible? Luke contemplated, how did I change – was it something I ate? Regardless, the fact of the matter remained – he was a seed, and he needed food. Through all the sorrow and dejection, Luke tried to be optimistic and keep his hope and faith. A couple of days passed as Luke pondered about his life in the fertile soil of the front yard’s garden, and on the third day he felt a tingling sensation. He was blossoming. Must’ve been my tears that triggered the auxin release, assumed Luke. From a tiny mustard seed, Luke began to grow rapidly. In a matter of weeks he had become a strong, mature tree. He had a wide, round trunk and thick, long branches.

Still, Luke was discouraged by the fact that he was unable to retain a human appearance and his purpose in life was still mysterious to him. Even as a tree, he grieved over his appearance because the feeling of inferiority remained. As time passed, he started to realize that he had become a prominent figure for many people and animals. His first interactions as a plant, or vegetation (as he’d call himself), was with squirrels. In Luke’s neighborhood, there was a stray dog that harassed all the smaller animals, especially the squirrels. On a particular morning, a squirrel scurried up Luke’s trunk in an attempt to flee from the notorious neighborhood dog. Although the muscular dog was intimidating, its appearance had no effect on Luke. Massive and deeply rooted, Luke acted as a refuge for the squirrels. Protecting them, Luke was their guardian angel. He then reminisced all the times that he had been pestered and persecuted by his peers. From that point on, Luke knew what his purpose in life was. He was determined to change his life to assert himself and the weaker.

Another change soon overcame Luke as development continued. Fruits sprung forth from his stems as he soon found himself engulfed with thousands of birds. Unbeknownst to Luke, he had already become home to thousands of different birds that thrived on the fruits he bore. He was their source of energy and what made survival of these animals possible. Luke’s presence in this new society brought about a completely new feeling, a feeling of importance and of accomplishment. Never before had he been considered a prominent being, so this experience truly revamped his view on life itself.

In the summer, the blazing sun’s rays weighed down on all the animals and people. Again, Luke would be there to support them, providing shade in the to all those that dwell within this neighborhood. His thick limbs branched out far and were covered with green, star-shaped leaves. Families, couples, students, birds, squirrels, and even the stray dog came to him for his refreshing shade. Sometimes even Luke’s former tormentors from school rested under his forgiving arms. Luke was delighted that he could utilize his gifts for the aid of others, even his enemies. Although Luke’s physical transformation was drastic, the character change he went through was even more extreme.

Years passed with Luke’s influence ever increasing. One day, a group of loggers stopped in front of him. They inspected Luke with admiration, exchanging nods with one another. The loggers marked Luke then promptly left. They returned the next day with a truckload of hazardous equipment. No, this can’t be, Luke thought, I’ve done nothing wrong. The loggers began preparation; they fired up their chainsaws and begin the cutting process. People of all ages, squirrels, birds, and dogs all began to gather in front of Luke. They’re here to help, he thought, they’re here to help me. Never before had he felt so accepted, a warm sensation swept over him and overwhelmed his senses. Luke broke down inside; he did not even care whether or not he would make it out of the ordeal alive. This feeling of acceptance was more than anything he could have ever asked for. The people stood their ground and refused to move away from Luke while the squirrels began to attack the loggers, biting and tearing at the loggers’ flesh. The birds aimed their beaks and one by one risked their lives to keep the loggers at bay; the cats and dogs worked together in unison, defending Luke from the loggers. The loggers were eventually forced to retreat. These people and animals gave their lives to save me, Luke thought. He finally understood what it was like to have friends, true friends that would defend and stand up for him in any situation. He went from being a weak and insignificant outsider to a popular and successful student. Prior to his metamorphosis, he had no direction in life, but as a tree he discovered that his true purpose is to serve humbly.