Have you ever been in a situation of doing something, and you look around at what’s going on, and just panic because nothing makes any logical sense? Like standing in a dark alley with a bunch of gang members betting on which chicken, Paco or William Shakespeare, would win in a fight? Now I haven’t done anything as mad as that but I certainly have been in a relatively similar situation, unfortunately, without dark alleys or chickens or gang members, but nonetheless very interesting and nonsensical. And somehow I am able to manage to put a universal theme into it that actually somehow applies to an extent, and will maybe possibly inspire or relate to your hearts.
In the summer, I often go to my friend Katlynn’s house to play games or hang out and whatnot. Well, at this particular time, she was in Michigan visiting family, and her mom asked me to stop by to do some chores before I went to youth group. It was rather basic; I merely needed to feed the animals, clean up a thing or two, and cut down an absurdly large pack of weeds. The first two were simply done of course, but then I met my challenge. A five foot high, three by six patch of weeds that makes jungle action movies look like child’s play. Now Michelle, Katie’s mom, met me at my titan to slay, and I was presented with a choice of two tools. I could either use a weed whacker, like any other sensible human being, or a simple, but very sharp machete. So of course I chose to wield a mighty sword to destroy this titan! Then assuredly, after a lengthy battle, it is slain. Twenty straight minutes of hacking, fiercely cutting down masses of weeds at a time, it is only a challenge of time, not skill. My clothes are spattered with the grass clippings of my enemy, and I have achieved victory. But yet our warrior is not done fighting.
Soon after I hear the shots of a BB gun ringing from the forest, beckoning me to come stand to the challenge. My mighty sword is sheathed, and I travel towards the continuous gunfire. I am yet presented with a scene so bizarre that it took me a minute to process. There is Michelle (Katlynn’s mother), and a friend from my youth group, Jake, firing a BB pistol at the top of a tree, in which, perched at the top, is their pet turkey. So naturally I take careful, calm steps to assess the situation.
“WHAT THE HECK GUYS WHY ARE YOU SHOOTING THE TURKEY!?!?” I proclaim in a calm, yet firm tone of voice. They then rather poorly explain
“The turkey is stuck at the very top of the tree so we are shooting at it in order to make it fly down to the ground safely.” I thought this idea was absolutely ridiculous, why would you shoot a poor, defenseless animal with a BB gun to get it to plummet out of a tree, frantically flapping its wings in distress in order to not be killed? Now they did try climbing the tree, but it was simply far too tall and the branches were terribly small, impossible to get a foothold. And I mean this tree was very VERY tall, I could hardly see the top of it, even though it was only 8-10 inches thick. I didn’t even like this turkey; I still don’t. It pecks at me every time I try to say hi, and always looks as dark and brooding as Batman thinking about his parents. Though nonetheless, I didn’t want the turkey to be tortured! He and I may not have gotten along well but if anyone can pull off the Batman look they have earned my respect. For the record, I did try to shoot it down a few times, but seeing the futility of the matter, I gave up on it. Still armed with my machete, and as if there was a flickering lightbulb, barely producing anything worthwhile, hovering above my head, I developed an idea.
My idea was simple, but by no means easy. I walked up to the tree, dew my Excalibur, and swung. Some of the bark chipped off, but it’s hardly dented the monster. Michelle and Jake were confused for a moment, but eventually got the idea and let me keep going, watching carefully to make sure I didn’t accidentally kill myself. I kept swinging, unfazed by my lack of progress with swing #1. This tree was getting progress, but it hasn’t budged nearly at all. I was trying to slay the Hydra with a kitchen knife, Goliath with a slingshot, trying to tell the Kardashians to just stop already, etc. Eventually, progress was actually made. I made a one inch indent, a two inch indent, and so on and so forth. I swung, sometimes even trying to switch sides of the tree, but no luck came to me. My arms felt like rubber, but was I going to let Jake get the honor of slaying this fiend? Heck no. The tree eventually got to almost cartoonish proportions, I even tried to push the thing to break, because it genuinely looked like all it needed was a slight push and the thing would snap in half.
This has been going on another 20 minutes now, meaning I’ve been holding this weapon for nearly an hour, swinging frantically for just about every minute of it. So I was tired, Michelle and Jake are sitting down talking about something I didn’t care to listen to, and the tree mocked me with its mighty willpower to stand strong. Then, it happened. Tree Wars V: The Tree Strikes Back.My new method of chopping from over the head has failed me, and I took a blow by my own traitorous tool. Looking back on it, I understand. That machete was getting mangled; of course it would decide to switch to the Dark Side on me. I took a slice to the face, right near the eye, from the sharpest point of the machete. I winced in pain, and Michelle thought I had blinded myself. I quickly wiped my face on my shirt (which even now, has a blood stain as a result), to check if I could still see. I’m always up for a cool eye scar, but to be blinded? Not happening. Thankfully I was not, and by a miracle of God Himself, I only hit myself in the part between the nose and eye. Naturally I wanted to finish my job. Michelle just wasn’t having it, and she sent me to the house to bandage myself so it doesn’t get infected. I groaned, but accepted, hoping my foe would face me again upon my return, ready to finish the battle of the ages. I retreated to her house and bandaged my cut with a nice Frozen Band-Aid, and sat for a bit to gather myself. I was highly excited, thinking I get to cut down a tree and get a cool eye scar in the process? Amazing! But this was unfortunately not the case. Like America in WWI, Jake stepped in at the last moment and stole my glory. He had slain the dying dragon, leaving me as merely a wounded hero in the castle. I was broken. My dragon was slain and I didn’t even get to deal the finishing blow. It genuinely felt like those moments where the nearly useless member of a group project who just sat on their phone the whole time then acts like they did all of the work. But nevertheless, the turkey is saved and somehow not dead, though it did get a scratch in on Jake for my sake, and the tree had been destroyed. It was a bittersweet moment in my life.
So like any victorious warrior, I walked with my head high and proud as I told brief iterations of my grand story to people. Then Jake, every single time at church, said that I “stabbed myself in the face trying to chop down a tree,” which was absolutely ridiculous, it was the tree’s fault. Someone even asked me about why I had a Band-Aid on my face, and when I told them the story, they laughed it off until I stared blankly at them with a dead serious, turkey-worthy expression on my face. They then were in awe at my adventurous prowess. Though unfortunately the scar only bothered to last a mere month. Which, it probably would have lasted longer if I didn’t slap Elsa and Anna on my face to stop it from being exposed. This all just shows that our lives can have absolutely crazy experiences, whether you qualify watching a cat on the internet tap away at a keyboard, hunting caribou in your underwear with only an ice pick, or fearlessly attack a tree to save a turkey in distress and accidentally slash yourself in the face with the very tool you used to cut it down. The turkey still hates me, by the way.