Tree Guy lost an eye during our last snowstorm, and by the time we noticed, it was buried under six inches snow. Neither my husband nor I were willing to dig in the snowdrifts around Tree Guy to find his eye because after the snow, Subzero Temperature blew in escorted by his companion Windchill. My husband declared, “We’ll find the eye in spring.”
How did Tree Guy lose an eye during a lake-effect snowstorm? Maybe the wind blew it down, but most likely a squirrel knocked it off. Squirrels are the usual suspects, but have you ever tried to round them up for questioning? Because they run up and down his trunk, Tree Guy has had each of his eyes and his mouth knocked off numerous times over the years. My husband has reglued the mouth a few times, and last summer he gave it a new coat of paint. He takes good care of his tree buddy.
I didn’t want the maple tree by our deck to become Tree Guy. My husband pointed out the eyes and nose in a store and said, “Isn’t this neat? I think it’s really neat! We should get this!”
I didn’t think it was neat. I’m not a let’s-turn-our-trees-into-faces kind of person. He’d shown me these faces before, but never with such eagerness. It’s hard to resist youthful enthusiasm in an adult, and I had to admit this particular face did have a friendly, calm appearance. We struck a deal: the tree face could come home with us as long as it would be the only one in our yard. (A neighbor a couple blocks away had a face on every tree in her yard, and it was creepy.)
My husband kept his word. Tree Guy wears the only face in our yard. Over the years his face has amused guests and bewitched our grandkids. He greets me every time I walk out the back door. His looks change throughout the year. In winter, snow and ice transform him into Old Man Winter. In summer with flowering plants hanging on each side of him, he becomes Carmen Miranda about to sing, “The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat.”
I hope we find his eye in the spring. But if we don’t Tree Guy will still be with us. Perhaps I can talk my husband into making a wooden eye patch for him, and he can become a pirate, ready to chant, “Yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of rum!”