Tree joke

This was told to me by an older Iroqouis man when I was in college: Woodpecker was out foraging for food in the forest when he overheard two trees arguing. It was hard to make out what the trees were saying, so woodpecker flew in closer to listen.

He came upon a large beech and a large birch, arguing over a young sapling that grew between them.

The beech said “That tree is a son of a beech, it will grow to be strong and provide food to the animals of the forest.” The birch replied,” No, it is a son of a birch, it will grow to be a mighty birch and will give man bark to start fires and build canoes.”.

And so it went, the beech said it was a son of a beech and the birch said it was a son of a birch. Woodpecker could see that the trees had grown so tall, they struggled to see the little sapling on the forest floor.

So, woodpecker flew in closer and offered to settle the dispute. He said to the trees “I know trees better than any animal in the forest, let me take a closer look and I will settle this argument”. The trees happily agreed and woodpecker flew down to the young sapling. Woodpecker spent some time, hopping on the little tree, pecking the trunk and pecking the branches.

After some time had passed, he flew back up to give his report. Before woodpecker could say anything, the beech exclaimed “it’s a son of a beech, I know he will be a mighty beech one day”. The birch immediately followed with “You are mistaken, he is a son of a birch, he will be a strong birch one day.” Woodpecker, having a chance to speak, finally said “I hate to disappoint you, but it is not a son of a beech, nor is it a son of a birch. But, that’s the nicest piece of ash I ever stuck my pecker in”

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