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bebarce
September 23rd, 2012, 03:20 AM
I wrote this a while back and am working with a friend who is illustrating it. For now though I've created an audiobook version of it as well.


Once more 'Round the Apple Tree

On the top of a hill, surrounded by road,
Sat a tree, whose branches carried a great load.
For in the trees height, to some creatures delights,
Grew honey crisp apples that tasted just right.

And who would be feasting on the treats of this tree?
A blind wood pecker and a dog that could see
Not around, to the front, to the back, here or there,
But the future, the past, and the roads that it bare.

The road it did turn, it slanted and wound
The base of the hill, for it was perfectly round.
The past would come, the present and then
Flip back to the start, and begin again.

So how did it come that from out of no where?
Came a car full of men, three times a pair.
All six were named George and foremen no less,
Carpenters by trade, and quite skilled I confess.

George Six hopped on out, with axe in hand,
And ran up the hill as fast as he can.

“I’ve come for the tree, for we need a log
I’ll make a great table, so out of my way dog.”

“The dog will not move,”
Said the bird who loved to speak
“He has seen your future, and you won’t achieve what you seek.
The tree won’t be cut, he knows of your need
But it won’t be by you, that the lumber is freed”

With a grumble and a tumble, George climbed down,
Passing George Five, who climbed up with resound.

“I’ve come for the tree, for we need every branch
To make posts for our horses, back at the ranch.”

“On this apple tree you won’t lay a hand,
Not an axe, nor a saw, will suit your demand.
The dog has said 'No', it won’t be by you.
You’ll head back on down, and up will come two.”

And sure enough George Five stomped down the descent,
While up came George four and three, as George 5 went.

“We’ve come for the tree, we have a saw right here,
That we’ll aim for the trunk, to make planks for a pier.”

“The dog has said no to George Four and George Three.
You won’t break the bark of this apple tree.
So head back on down, the both of you.
As I’m sure you both know, up will come George Two”

And George Two sure did, with a huff and a puff,
As George Four chased Three down, for they’d had quite enough

“I’ve come for the tree, so stop fooling around
I’ll pull up the roots and level the ground
I’ll build a dog house, with a little bird nook,
That should please you both for any wood that I took”

“You offer us gifts, but the dog won’t partake.
The apples are ripe, your intentions are fake.
You’ll level the ground, that much is true,
But you’ll do nothing else, George Number Two.

And barely warily, George Two clambered down,
As up came George One, already wearing a frown.

“I’ve come for the tree. It has to be, see
Five Georges came down, so all that’s left is me.
Wood Pecker, Dog, come, let’s make a deal.
I need to work, just as much as you need a meal.”

“Plant us a tree, from these apple seeds.
Nourish and grow them they’ll suit your needs.
They’ll bring you lumber, and apples so red.
We give you an orchard, just don’t make our tree dead.”

So George hobbled and toppled on down.
Got back in his truck and drove it around.
And as the truck drove on past the hills bend,

We’ll reread the first line, for this story doesn’t end.

bazz cargo
September 25th, 2012, 09:54 PM
Hi Bebarce,
Not around, to the front, to the back, here or there,
But the future, the past, and the roads that it bare.

This was a stretch too far.
Okay, Dr Seuss may have got there first, but you have something to give him a run for his money. This works well as a read out loud.
Thanks for sharing.
Bazz

Cornelius Crowe
October 20th, 2012, 03:18 AM
Hi Bebarce,

Nicely written, with a valuable message. I have a few suggestions if you're receptive to critique. I found that many of the lines were awkward due to too many or too few syllables. I've made a few changes that I think make the story flow a bit better. I hope you'll forgive my presumption.

Once more 'Round the Apple Tree

On the top of a hill, next to a road, (I had a hard time envisioning 'surrounded by road')
Sat a tree, whose branches bore a great load. ('carried' gave this line too many syllables)
For in the tree's heights, to some creature's delights,
Grew honey-crisp apples that tasted just right.

And who would be feasting on the treats of this tree?
A blind wood pecker and a dog that could see.
Not around, to the front, to the back, here or there,
But the future, the past, and the roads that it bare. (I'm not able to make sense of the last two lines)

The road it did turn, it slanted and wound
Round the base of the hill, which was perfectly round.
The past would become the present and then
Flip back to the start, and begin once again.

So how did it happen that from out of no where (come doesn't work well with 'came' on the next line)
Came a car full of men, three times a pair?
All six were named George and foremen no less,
Carpenters by trade, and quite skilled I confess.

George Six hopped on out, with axe in hand,
And ran up the hill as fast as he can.

“I’ve come for the tree, for we need a log
To make a great table; step aside dog. (too many syllables in this line)

“The dog will not move,”
Said the bird who could speak
“He's seen your future; you won’t get what you seek.
The tree won’t be cut, he knows of your need (does 'he' refer to the tree or the dog?)
But it won’t be by you, that the lumber is freed”

With a grumble and a tumble, George climbed down,
Passing George Five, who climbed up with resound.

“I’ve come for the tree, for we need every branch
To make posts for our horses, back at the ranch.”

“On this apple tree you won’t lay a hand,
Not an axe, nor a saw, will suit your demand.
The dog has said 'No', it won’t be by you.
You’ll head back on down, and up will come two.”

And sure enough George Five made the descent,
While up came George Four and George Three, as Five went.

“We’ve come for the tree; we have a saw here, ('right' made the line awkward)
That we’ll aim for the trunk, to make planks for a pier.”

“The dog has said no to George Four and George Three.
You won’t break the bark of this apple tree.
So head back on down, the both of you.
As I’m sure you both know, up will come Two” (George added too many syllables)

And George Two sure did, with a huff and a puff,
As George Four chased Three down, for they’d had quite enough

“I’ve come for the tree, so stop fooling around
I’ll pull up the roots and level the ground
I’ll build a dog house, with a little bird nook,
That should appease you for wood that I took”

“You offer us gifts, but the dog won’t partake.
The apples are ripe, your intentions are fake.
You’ll level the ground, that much is true,
But you’ll do nothing else, George Number Two."

And barely warily, George Two clambered down,
As up came George One, already wearing a frown.

“I’ve come for the tree. It has to be, see
Five Georges came down, and now there is me.
Wood Pecker, Dog, come, let’s make a deal.
I need to work, and you need a meal.”

“Plant us a tree, from these apple seeds.
Nourish and grow them; they’ll suit your needs.
They’ll bring you lumber, and apples so red.
We give you an orchard, just don’t make our tree dead.”

So George carefully made his way down. (toppling isn't the best way to get out of a tree 8-))
Got back in his truck and drove it around.
And as the truck drove on past the road's bend, (hills don't bend, but roads do)

We’ll reread the first line, for this story doesn’t end.

bebarce
October 29th, 2012, 02:14 AM
Hi Cornelius, thank you for the valuable input. I will make a lot of the changes you suggested. A few notes of where I'm going to choose to keep them the way they are. I hope this doesn't sound like justification after the fact. Perhaps with the art attached it would be easier to see.

In the first stanza, I'm maintaining "surrounded by road" or perhaps "surrounded by a road" because I was trying to actually suggest the road itself (not the bottom of the hill) was perfectly round.
The hill the road, the tree, are all somewhat of a nexus. The road was meant to represent time, and its cyclical nature.

In the second stanza I suggest that the two characters assist each other. The dog provides sight to the blind bird, the bird provides communication. My description of the dogs sight however is not as simple as being able to view things physically, but that he can see events that have occurred in the past and future. They are a part of the place, so are connected to all it's elements. The tree, the road, the dog, the bird, the hill, all elements of a single place or organism. So "Not around, to the front, to the back, here or there" describes an ability to view the physical world around him. "But the future, the past, and the roads that it bare." describes his 6th sense view.

Same goes for "come" rather than "become" I wanted to show time moving, not changing.

"He" refers to the dog. The bird speaks for him. I do agree on changing "loves to" but I'm not sure what would sound better there. I have to think about it.

I can be wrong about this, but what I was trying to describe by saying the "bend of the hill" was the curve of the hill, specifically using the word bend I meant to describe the the point you can't see something as it passes the visible horizon. The road runs in a perfect circle around the hills base.

I'll definitely include many of your suggestions. I have a recording of my reading the original, and I felt when reading it out loud, that it didn't sound too clumsy. But maybe when someone else reads it, it doesn't flow naturally. I really hope i'm not coming off as sounding overly defensive or unappreciative of your insight.

Cornelius Crowe
October 29th, 2012, 06:23 AM
I really hope i'm not coming off as sounding overly defensive or unappreciative of your insight.

Not at all, Bebarce. I certainly don't feel that my suggestions are necessarily the best way to go, just some alternatives to consider. I'm glad that you have a firm sense of what you want to do with this story and are sticking to it.

I really liked the Georges, by the way; they are very Seussian. I also like how the story sounds when read aloud - it really flows nicely.