My House in the Tree

By Laura Shephard, age 10, Pool Church of England primary school Wharfedale, Yorkshire

The south of France was hot, in Cannes, where we would settle for two years and where I found my house in the tree.

The house, like a shield to the chest, protected a small field of wild farm land. Between the two stood a tree, with its leaves cloaking the trunk and branches. The high grass suddenly stopped behind it like a person in front of a deadly snake.

The tree's dark green leaves hung like loose rope from the branches almost touching the ground. I was desperate to go and explore the garden, especially the tree.

I ran through the house and out into the hot sunshine. I was dazzled by the bright light as I was used to the dark rooms of the house. I walked toward the tree and heard a sound, the chirping noise of the crickets. Finally I reached the tree and noticed it was larger than I expected. I had just been reading a story about an enchanted tree with some folk called Moonface and Silky. My hopes rose that I would find them and have adventures in different lands. The grass was the colour of straw and higher than my waist as I pushed my way through.

In front of me was an archway in the canopy of the hanging leaves. Inside it was cool and a few streams of sunlight revealed the branches and trunk. But, unfortunately, this was not the tree where Moonface and Silky lived and I was disappointed for that reason. I was happy though because I was out of the hot sun, the temperature was just to my liking and it was peaceful, but, I could stil hear the chirping of the crickets.

As I climbed up I felt the rough surface of the trunk. The bark was falling off, but I was careful not to damage it.

The tree was just like a house, there was one thick branch slanted to one side, this made a bed and if I lay down on this branch there would be a soft padding of green moss for my head. There was an armchair opposite the bed where two branches on either side of one thick branch, curved down to make arm rests. The thick branch in the middle was where I sat down.

On one side of the tree a flatter branch was my slide. It was covered in moss and slippery so I could slide down easily. This was where I had a swinging place, where one thick branch was on top of another thick branch and the gap in the middle was perfect for my body size. I held on to the branch above and rested my feet on the branch below then I pushed off and swung for a while before standing back on the lower branch.

The reading place was where someone had cut out a rectangular shape above my soft pillow of moss. The book I was reading fit perfectly in it and that is where I read on hot days.

As I was about to climb up, I heard my mother calling me so I ran out of my tree and walked through the grass. Suddenly I heard the rustle of hay. The grass in front split and there lay a thick brown snake resting peacefully. I yelled and it spun around so fast I thought it was going to squeeze me but it just slithered off to its home swiftly. I ran all the way back to the house and cried with fright and shock.

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