Day 28- Tree of Life by Katie Bennett-Davies

The Welsh Government plants a tree for every new child in Wales. Write a story involving one of the trees or forests.

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The Prompt

Since 2008 the Welsh Government has pledged to plant a tree for every new child born or adopted in Wales. Write a story involving one of the trees or forests.

You can read more about the scheme here

You could take this down a supernatural/fantasy root (pun intended).

  • What if the child’s life was linked in some way to the tree, perhaps their life is even linked to that of the tree. What would a parent do to protect the tree and ensure it flourished as it grew?
  • You could write from the point of view of the tree over a long period of time. What does it witness? How does the tree itself change/mature?
  • You could write in the genre of climate change. How does this scheme affect the planet? This could either be from a positive or negative perspective.
  • Or, from a conflict point of view, think about who might not be in favour of this scheme. This could be a developer who wanted to build on the cheap land that the Government is now using for a forest. Or someone in a community who sees farmland being bought up for tree planting and their way of life disappearing. What might someone do to sabotage the forest- arson, breaking the the saplings, etc?

Remember you don’t have to use a traditional style of storytelling. You could write your story as the minutes of a meeting, a newspaper report, a personal letter.

You might not have time to write a long story with all the background info filled in so jump straight into the action. You can always add backstory when it comes to revising.

Katie Bennett-Davies

Katie Bennett-Davies lives in Wales with her husband and cat, Didi. Living with disabilities has allowed her to see the world from a different perspective. She enjoys pottering in the garden and drinking too much coffee.

Join the discussion: what will you do with today’s prompt OR how did it go? Need support? Post here!

bingo 28

14 thoughts on “Day 28- Tree of Life by Katie Bennett-Davies”

  1. I wrote about a city girl who dreams of living in the forest surrounded by trees. It’s not possible for her to leave the city, so she loses hope. But her life changes and she changes and by the end of the story she has started a garden center full of trees and plants “to bring life” to the city.

  2. I wrote about a girl who hears her tree calling to her and insists on going to see her tree. It’s a derwen tree! Katie, this prompt is so cool. I love, love, love it!

  3. I am currently (it’s still May 28 where I live) writing a story about a Welsh boy who wants to find the one special tree that was planted in his honor when he was born. It turns out to be a difficult project. Thank you, Katie.

  4. I wrote a 609 word children’s story about a young sequoia tree talking to his grandfather who tells him about the changes he’s seen over the last 2,000 years.

  5. Wrote a quick 500 word flash: first paragraph starts out:

    Let’s grow a tree. Sprinkle seeds, naming each kernel as you would a child. Let each beginning sink, take root, evolve, gaze upward and explode, smearing earth onto the sky with their blades of hair, fingernail leaves and muddy, bare feet…

    …and just to report, all caught up with prompts as of this morning!

  6. I wrote a 370 word story title “The Trees of the Innocent” where the health of the trees is linked to the health of the babies. Third person, past tense. A malodorous man hires a killer to do away with a child by chopping down his tree, but the other trees in the man-made forest prevent that from happening.

  7. Wasn’t quite sure what to do with this, but I wrote about Lee coming back to see the tree their parents planted when Lee was born and thinking how its appearance symbolizes Lee’s relationship with them…and not in a good way. 181 words.

  8. The Weeping Willow

    Dear Students,

    It is the beginning of a new season. And the blizzard has left me covered with the first snow of the year. As the golden ball comes out and the skies clear, the melting snow drops off me, flake by flake. I sniff. The tip of my nose gets reddened. Luckily for me, humans don’t understand our language, or you would have seen my cry…….

    Do you remember me still? It’s been a while since we met last. But to me, it just looks like the other day.

    That unforgettable morning, that is, the 2nd of June, my sog (life-force, seed), with a little bit of soil, gifted by the Forestry Department, was brought at the back of a Maruti Van.

    The whole nation was going to celebrate the anniversary of K4’s Coronation Day in a grand manner. Some 500 seeds of different plants and trees were to be planted all over, within the school compound to mark the occasion.

    I distinctly remember Class Captain Amit of XII Arts, 2005, who obtained me from the Green House where I was lying, with all other fellow brethren, unduly worried about my future. Amit, that expatriate teacher – what was his name? – RNB, and that rebel of a girl, Lalita, were in the same group. The rest of the class or should I say, school, was divided into similar groups of three.

    Even in a place like Tshimalakha, Amit had sweats pouring off his forehead by the time he was done with the digging of pits, assigned for my upkeep, and a couple more. No, no, you don’t have to correct me by pointing it out that each group was responsible for digging one pit and taking care of one seedling only. I know, I know but Amit, being the darling of CCS, just lent a hand to a few other groups.

    On opening my eyes the next day, how happy I was to find me given such a central place of importance!

    It still seems like yesterday only when Lalita – what a girl she was! – tore the plastic wrapper from around the seedling, handed it to their Class Teacher and asked him to plant it carefully. I heard her telling RNB as they knelt down to dig out the soil, put me in the centre and fill up the pit with the scattered soil.

    “You know, Sir, we Bhutanese believe that if this Willow, survives, lives for long, we’ll also thrive and prosper in life.” A little shy, turning to him with those doe-like eyes, she informed him.

    Having heard this, the tall, lanky, bespectacled teacher wasted no time in requesting Amit to hurry up and find some sticks for making a fencing around me.

    That’s how I debutted at the famed institute of Knowledge and Learning.

    So many years have passed since then. Today, if you happen to come to CCS, you will find me standing majestically in the lawn in front of the administrative block. How I have grown in the last seventeen years! Now, I have my well-formed, well-spread-out limbs for providing shade to the teachers and the taught alike, especially in summer when the temperature may go up to 40°C. Almost every working day, the staff come out and sit beneath me during the break with their tea and samosa made by – who else? – but that dear Didi.

    I have so much to tell you but due to the time constraint, I’ll have to shorten this one. I see new faces in different moods around me all the times, many romances building up, betrayals, rejections and what not! But what I witnessed towards the fag end of last January, really shook me up.

    The Workshop on Teaching Pedagogy had just concluded. The school went back to wearing its normal desolate look round about this time as usual. It was a chilly, wintry afternoon to begin with. Swaying in the sharp wind blowing across the lawn, I thought I saw a solitary, familiar face turning stealthily round the XII Block and heading towards the locked-up administrative building.

    As he came closer, his face registered in my mind. It had to be him! Surely, he looked aged by now, the upright frame was starting to bend down a little ( Poor RNB! Life hasn’t been very kind to him. I heard the message from the breeze rustling throw me just the other night!), the hairline had started receding during his last few years here, but now he was totally bald, without any hair! And I wasn’t sure if he wore contact lenses but he certainly didn’t have the glasses on!

    “Dear, dear RNB! What a pleasant surprise! What wind brings you back?” I tried asking him through one of my limbs at the bottom. My fingers gently touched the back of his neck before stretching out to caress his face.

    He fondly looked up at me and stepped into the lawn. Putting his shaky hands around me, he hugged me firmly around the neck with a look – how do I describe it? – with a look of the greatest pride and tenderness. Did I see some tears coursing down his cheeks as he whispered?

    “Dearest Willow, I’m so happy to see you up and kicking. I’ve been thinking about my students, colleagues and of you a lot lately. Glad that you have made it through the rough times and look so solid loving and welcoming, My friend…”

    “But how about you, RNB? Tell me about Your Success Story. Tell me that you have lived a contented, fulfilled life…” I asked him, trying to take him in my limbs as well.

    Well, he didn’t understand me either! Did I detect a sob in his voice when he whispered :

    “I don’t know if I can come back to this Blessed Land again. In case, I can’t make it, tell them, tell them – when they are back in February and the holy air of CCS is surcharged with their laughter, happiness and joy – that I loved them from my heart. Tell them to keep some space in their hearts for me? Will you, Dearest Willow? ”

    Humans don’t understand our language. Otherwise, he would have been really sad seeing me cry…….

    Au revoir. Take care. Keep finding your destined places in life. Never ever let that smile go off your face. Stay happy, Stay blessed.

    With love and nothing but the very best,


    The Weeping Willow.

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