Death to Life

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

The stump buzzed with activity. Full of insects and worms, and critters of all sorts feeding on those insects and worms, it provided a banquet of nutrition for the forest.

Rusty stared at it for a long time. Finally he turned to his dad and said, “But why was it cut down in the first place? Somebody killed it!”

“That’s possible,” his dad replied. “But it’s just as likely that it was cut because it was already diseased. Or just old, breaking down. Sometimes when things die, they provide life for lots of other important things.”

42 thoughts on “Death to Life

    1. Thanks, Dale. I was stumped–oh dear, no pun intended–by this one for a while, but then I remembered hearing my husband talk about how natural reforestation requires that one tree dies to provide nutrients for seedlings. Had my story, just like that:)

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Good observation, Neil. My husband was pointing out a whole string of dying trees on our way home from church. He’s very concerned about something called an ash borer, I think, that is destroying ash trees across the country. So far, no way of stopping them.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad. The picture had me stumped (no pun intended) for a while, but my husband grew up in the woods of northern Michigan.I remembered him talking about. this very thing.


    1. Thanks, Rochelle. My husband grew up in the northern woods of Michigan. He knows about this kind of thing, and memories of his telling me about the importance of dead trees to the “circle of life” in the woods gave me my story.


  1. I like the patience the parent has for the child’s questions. Also a perfect opportunity to give the lesson never cut healthy trees down as they help keep humans alive when they “eat” carbon dioxide and release oxygen for us to breathe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really liked this story! While most others find maggots to be disgusting, I’ve always been fascinated by them and how they quite literally use dead bodies to multiply and make their own new life. I especially liked the line: “a banquet of nutrition for the forest.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A perfect story, Linda. In primal forests, there are many dead trees found, but they aren’t taken out and provide room and light for seedlings, insects, fungi, shelter for other animals and so on. In ‘managed’ forests trees are removed and that takes away a lot of the forest’s resources. At least the stumps remain and provide nutrition. As you’ve perfectly described.

    Liked by 1 person

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