and I’m always embarrased and disappointed at what a scrawny little thing it is. Evidently my Mum and Dad didn’t know at the time that it would be so slow-growing. It should be lofty, a giant, don’t you think? I should be able to gaze up at it and say proudly, ‘This tree is as old as me, just think!’ But now, I stand beside it while they tell visitors, ‘We planted this when she was born. And I cringe. It is gnarled and twisted. It is never going to be lofty and spreading if it lives to be hundreds of years old. It’s a crab apple, a miserable thing with nasty little fruit. I hate it. ‘Why did you pick that to plant for me?’ I asked them once. ‘We thought it would be so lovely when it was in blossom.’ they said. It has seldom blossomed; when it does they are scarce. The only good thing about that is fewer of those nasty, shrivelled, dark so-called apples which no-one could ever eat. I so hate it when they refer to me as Blossom, their pet name for me.
When I grow up, I am going to get my own place and I am going to plant a tree in honour of my dear parents. What will it be? What’s most poisonous? Perhaps oleander. That has wonderful blossoms, but you better not touch. When they ask me why that tree for them, I’ll say, ‘I wanted to return the favour’.