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Day 58
The Death Song of the Great Fir Tree

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  Today was a long work-day. When afternoon-time was come, the mamma was worried because the cream wasn't sour enough to churn , and she wanted to get it churned before suppertime. I wanted to help her. I feel so sorry for her when the worry lines come on her face. They make her look tired. While she was taking a nap by the baby on the bed, I tried to think how I could help her. By-and-by, after a time not very long, I thought of a way. I got a lemon and cut it in two with the butcher-knife. Then I took the lid off the big churn. I squeezed those lemons lots of times into the cream. Then, when they wouldn't leak any more juice out, I put the rinds in for a finishing touch, just like the mamma puts them into the lemonade after she has squeezed all the squeeze out. I feel better now. I know when the mamma awakes, joy will be hers when she sees the cream is sour enough to churn.
  But the feels the mamma did have when she had wake-ups -- they was not joy feels; and the feels I now have are sore feels on the back part of me .
  While I did mind the baby , there was an odd sound like someone crying a great way off. The mamma says, "I wonder what it is." I know it is the death-song of that gray fir tree they are falling this afternoon. Sleeps is come upon the baby. The mamma says for me to get out of her way. I go now goes to the woods.
  I did. I went on to where its growing was. It reaches up and up -- most away to the clouds. Days have been when I did sit by it to have thinks. And Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus has gone goes there with me, and Brave Horatius has waited waits while I did say prayers by that great tree. And I have told it all the things I am going to do when I grow up. I have told it about the books I am going to write about wood-folks and them of the field, and about the twins I want when I grow up, and the eight other children. And always I have read to this great fir tree the letters I have wrote and put in the big log for the fairies to take to grandmére and grandpére . And night-times I have heard the little wind-song among its arms most near to the sky, and I have almost touched the big gray shadow with velvet fingers that stays close by it at night-time.
  And today there I did watch and I did hear its moans as the saw went through it. And I sat down on the ground. There was a queer feel in my throat and I couldn't stand up. All the woods seemed a still sound except the pain-sound of the saw. It seemed like a little voice was calling from the cliffs. And then it was many voices. They were all little voices calling as one silver voice come together. The saw -- it didn't stop -- it went on sawing. Then I did have thinks the silver voice was calling to the soul of the big fir tree. The saw did stop. There was a stillness. There was a queer sad sound. The big tree did quiver. It did sway. It crashed to the earth.

Chapter Day Scene Paragraph
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