The Banana Tree | Teen Ink

The Banana Tree

March 4, 2014
By super8 PLATINUM, Manhattan, Kansas
super8 PLATINUM, Manhattan, Kansas
30 articles 9 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You ain't ever gonna burn my heart out!"

It was not a dream; Sean didn’t even need to pinch himself to realize that. There simply was nothing left except a fragile little stump. It was so small and peculiar it would almost seem cute and benign to an outsider. However, in Sean’s eyes it looked more like a demon, or a trademark of death than anything else. In just a measly night, source of life for Sean and his band of fellow apes had been savagely reduced to a nearly lifeless mass. The banana tree was gone forever.
At first Sean didn’t want to believe it. He simply wandered carelessly in another direction, thinking he had wandered to the wrong spot. However, he soon came to realize no mistake was made. The banana tree had simply ceased to exist. Quickly, he began helplessly cupping his hands and scooping at the ground, perhaps thinking that he could bring the plant back to life by reaching its roots. Still, it was no use; the plant was barren as a brick.
Once he informed the other apes of the tragic end of their lives as they knew them, Sean was quickly drenched in the sound of panic. Throughout the village, siren like howls filled the nearby air. The younger apes screamed the loudest, wondering if they would ever reach old age. The elder apes, their shiny white hairs glistening in the morning sun, could only shake their heads. They had toiled their entire lives to keep the tribe alive and strong, and to ensure that future generations of apes would continue to flourish on the land like they once had. Now, all of sudden that thought was just a shadow of the past and a callous move by nature. Life as the tribe knew it was finished, that would be if any of their lives were even capable of existing any longer without the great banana tree.
When asked what he thought might have destroyed the tree, Sean could only shrug his shoulders. Antonio, one of the youngest and most curious of the apes, thought a demon may have carried out by the deadly deed. However, most blamed the lion for the supposed death of the tree. The lion was never friendly to the apes, it never tried to communicate, had a temper as short as a fingernail, and worst of all it would rather have apes for snacks than for company. Sean slammed his fist on the dusty ground beside him. What difference did it make who did it? Whatever mutilated the tree obviously wasn’t going to bring it back. He opened his mouth and let out a lion sized howl. He couldn’t take it anymore.
At first the tribe simply watched in horror as Sean exploded into fury. He beat his chest like a drum and started wailing at the top of his lungs, oblivious of the disgruntled expressions on the faces of the other apes. He charged at a nearby tree, bouncing off of its trunk like a ping pong ball. This tree, like most in the jungle, was fruitless, and that seemed to mock Sean. He scratched at the tree with sporadic slashes, and tried to yank it off of its roots. Attempting to not only rescue the tree but also Sean’s dignity, Antonio rushed beside him and laid a hand on him to pull him away. Suddenly, something in Sean’s mind changed. Antonio was no longer a friend, or an equal, he was now the enemy. Sean didn’t need much time to react, he simply turned around and clawed and couldn’t make himself stop.
The next thing Sean knew he was being dragged along the ground like a potato bag. Two big hairy hands engulfed his shoulders. He was then hurled into the tribal square, almost as if he were being thrust up by cannon. The apes began surrounding him in a perfectly symmetrical circle thrusting their fists forward imitating a snake, an enemy of the tribe. It was the outcast ritual; Sean only had seen it preformed once; he was only a young one back then. Back then, he thought the ritual was only a game, just another form of entertainment. But, now the truth hit him like a windstorm. He felt his body launch bolts of chilly air throughout his body, over and over. As the tribe approached closer and closer, the chilly feeling only increased. Why had he attacked Antonio, and would his friend be alright?
Eventually when the crowd of apes did come, Sean’s mind and body seemed to have frozen into an ice cube. He couldn’t move his body a single inch. Helplessly, he was once again picked up, this time by a nearly a dozen hands. The ones who were not able to touch him launched mocking howls in his direction. Soon, Sean felt himself fly through the air, feeling the lethally hot breeze slide past him like a puddle of fire. When he came down, his face slammed into the dusty ground. He started to roll like a boulder down a hill, steadily speeding faster and faster. Eventually, he hit something stiff and solid. What he saw just may have been the last straw for his delicate ego. He closed his eyes and let himself fall asleep. He had just rolled into the stump that started it all.
Peering down at the stump only made the pain more intense. Sean had no assurance he would survive to see the next day. Not only was his source of food gone, but his tribe had disappeared from reach as well. It turned out Antonio was not dead, but his friendship with Sean surely was. What was there left to do in Sean’s torn apart life? At first just one small tear rolled out of his eye, but like an avalanche it could only lead to more. Sean shoved his head into the ground, not wanting the moon to see him cry. The tears kept rolling out, and like the spring rain it never paused for a breath. Emotion once again grasped an iron grip on his mind, and he began to bang his fist on the stump like a mallet. The banging began getting louder more and rhythmic as time went on, and eventually it made a drum like melody.
Then, from the depths of the jungle, the lions started to roar. If Sean had paid attention, he would have been alarmed, or even scared. These roars were not angry roars but those of joy and peace. Soon, the hyenas, gazelles, cheetahs, and tigers joined in the chorus of noise. Eventually, the sound of every animal filled the air. If you listened closely, you could even the splattering hissing sounds from the snakes on the soggy ground. All of these noises formed the song of jungle. To an outsider hearing in, this noise would have been so intense it could have turned their ears inside out. But to the animals of the jungle, it was the sound of peace. For a moment, everything was alright; there was no suffering, no pain, and no hate for one another. Even Sean and Antonio, bearing pains all over their bodies, felt their strength returning.
What happened next may truly be the greatest miracle to date in the jungle. Perhaps the song was the catalyst of the miracle, or maybe nature had second thoughts about its decision the night before. Slow and unexpectedly, the lifeless tree, rotting roots and all, started to grow. Its limbs reached for the sky, leaf by leaf. When the song finally ceased as the sun rose, the tree had grown to over twice its original size, and fruit was abundant on its branches. Peace had sparked its life, and the apes were saved.

The author's comments:
My earliest piece of writing.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.