The Ginny Tree

THE GINNY TREE

Swing Tree

By

Herbert Smith

The Ginny Tree

The car turned into the driveway that led up the hill to Poppy and Nanna’s house. Ginny could see Poppy sitting in his rocking chair on the front porch. Before the car was halfway up the driveway, Ginny said, “Hi, Poppy.” Poppy saw his daughter’s car as it pulled into the driveway. A smile crossed his face as he saw his granddaughter waving from the car seat. “Hi, Poppy,” Ginny said as the car stopped in front of the house.
The two words that Poppy enjoyed hearing most were “Hi Poppy.” Ginny’s mother got out and walked around the car and unbuckled Ginny from the car seat. “Hi, Poppy,” Ginny said again as she ran to the front steps of the porch. She climbed up the steps and ran across the porch to where her Poppy was sitting in his rocking chair. Ginny climbed up on his lap and gave Poppy a big hug. “Poppy, tell me a story,” she said .“O K,” said Poppy. “What story would you like to hear?” “I want to hear the story about the Little Red Wagon.
Poppy told lots of stories. He told stories about birds, rabbits, turtles and little girls. Once, he even told a story about a skunk. But the story she liked to hear the most was the story about the Little Red Wagon. It reminded her so much of herself; it almost seemed as if it were real. The stories that were read to her at the day-care center were always stories about people and things in far away places. But these stories that Poppy told where things that happened in his own back yard.
When Poppy finished the story, Ginny crawled down from his lap and went into the house. “Hi, Nanna,”she said. “Poppy told me a story. I like Poppy’s stories.”“Hi, Ginny,” Nanna said as she gave her a hug.
One day, a few weeks later, when Ginny came out to visit her Poppy, he was out in the front yard playing in the dirt with a stick. “Hi, Poppy,” she said. “What are you doing?”“Hi, Ginny. I’m going to plant a tree.” “Oh, a tree! Can I help?” She asked. “Sure you can help,” Poppy said. Ginny ran to the porch and came running back with a little plastic shovel. “Where’s the tree?” Ginny said as she looked around. Poppy reached down and picked up the stick. “This is the tree. It’s just a little stick now. But it will grow to be a big tree.” Poppy placed the tree in the hole and Ginny started raking dirt in around it with her little plastic shovel. He helped her rake dirt in around the tree, and explain to her how they had to put water on it to make it grow so it wouldn’t die. “I’ll tell you what,” Poppy said. “We will call this tree, the Ginny Tree.” “Oh goody,” Ginny said. “You named a tree for me?”
After the tree was planted, they went into the house to wash their hands. Poppy went out on the front porch to set in his rocking chair. Ginny came out and crawled up in his lap. “Poppy, tell me a story.”
“O.K. There was this little squirrel burying a nut in the ground,” said Poppy. “No! No! I want to hear the story about the Little Red Wagon,” Ginny said. As he told the story, Ginny sat very quite in his lap and listened to every word.
“Hi, Poppy! Hi, Poppy!” “Who are you talking to Mommy?” “Who’s Poppy?” It was then that Ginny realized that she had been dreaming of a time years ago. She looked over at the empty rocking chair that sat beside her and looked into the eyes of her little girl standing there shaking her arm.
“Mommy! Mommy! I want to swing.” “O. K.”, said Ginny. “Go get in your swing and I’ll push you.”
As she walked out to the Ginny Tree and looked up at how tall it had grown, Ginny remembered the day that she and Poppy had planted it. And she thought how sad it was that her own daughter didn’t have a Poppy.
Herbert Smith
1995

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