The Twin Trees

It was a lovely sunny afternoon and Woody's branches were rustling in the breeze. Mr. Jolly had planted the birch tree twins, Twiggy and Woody, in the playground of Heathfield Primary School when the school was first built in nineteen thirty-one.

        Over the years, Twiggy and Woody had seen lots of changes. Thousands of children had come and gone. Now the twins were old and their bark was rough and peeling off. Still all the children went out to play and they gathered round Twiggy and Woody, just as their mums and dads, uncles, aunties, cousins and even grans and granddads had done before them. They played games underneath their sprawling branches and whenever they would say nursery rhymes, Twiggy and Woody would rustle and sway along.

        The headmaster, Mr. Jolly, was a kind headmaster who was wise as an owl and loved the two trees as much as the children, but sadly Mr. Jolly had to retire, as he wanted to spend more time with his family. Unfortunately the school got a miserable new headmaster, Mr. G. Rumpy who hated the children and would get rid of anything if it got in his way or could make him money.

        One dreary, miserable day at assembly, Mr. G. Rumpy announced that he wanted to cut down Twiggy and Woody. None of the children could protest because they would get into trouble but everyone was furious, even the teachers. Mr. G. Rumpy had gone too far. At first he changed their uniform and now he wanted to cut down the two best things about going to school; the two trees that made everyone feel better.

        The children decided they could not let this happen, so Charlie Landsfield got everybody to sign a petition but Mr. G. Rumpy had a heart of stone and there wasn't anything anybody could do about it, the trees had to go.

        Charlie and his friends got together after school and made a decision to get everybody to come and climb the tree and make a protest.

        The next day at school Mr. G. Rumpy handed out letters to say that he was making a new car park, where the trees stood. The children felt sick.

        Everybody loved those two birch trees because they were a place to go when the children felt down and sad and when they had nobody to talk to, the two trees welcomed them with a rustle of their leaves. Where would they go now? Charlie walked over to Woody and Twiggy with a miserable face, he would miss them so much. Woody and Twiggy had seen a lot of miserable faces, people including Henry Nutt, who was upset about falling out with his friend and Claire Moss, who wanted a pony for Christmas but ended up getting a pair of woolly socks and a pair of earmuffs, but Woody and Twiggy had never seen anyone as sad as Charlie.

        A day or two later, Charlie and his friends sent out secret posters telling everyone to climb up the two trees at lunchtime because that was when the twins were due to be cut down.

        The morning passed slowly. No one could concentrate on lessons, especially in maths, which seemed to be even more complicated than usual.

        Finally Charlie stepped outside. Round the trees menacing, yellow machines and a massive group of children began to gather.

        Charlie rushed over and separated the group into two. One group climbed up Woody and the other climbed Twiggy. Mr. G. Rumpy boomed over and laughed at them.

        Half an hour passed and Mr. G. Rumpy was past boiling point so he screamed at the children to get down but still they wouldn't move. Mr. G. Rumpy's face looked like a tomato ready to burst. The teachers rushed out to see why the children were late and gasped at the ugly sight of Mr. G. Rumpy's yellow, gritted teeth, bright red face and hairy, clenched hands.

        Mr. G. Rumpy was outraged. He marched into the school and handed in his notice. He quit. He had had enough! He thought that the school would beg him to come back, but the school never saw him again!

        Twiggy and Woody still stand, bowed and proud, to this day, welcoming new children each year in the grounds of Heathfield Primary School.

Written by Rachael Gilchrist - P7, Heathfield Primary School

Head Teacher - Mrs C Shearing

Story based on trees in Heathfield Primary playground