Monday 29 April 2013

The Tree Stump
FRENZY by Mark King
ISBN 9781846248771

Just like Daniel Jones the lead character in Frenzy, I had to make use of an axe yesterday. And boy o boy am I paying for it now.

A few weeks a go I cut the branches off a fur tree in my garden, and was left with a three foot stump. It wasn't very thick but the roots went deep, and I knew the only way to get it out before I grassed over the bare soil was to chop it out.

I borrowed an axe from a friend. It wasn't very sharp but deadly enough if used for the wrong purpose. Well I chopped and I chopped, and after half an hour I was on my hands and knees panting like a wild dog with rabies.

The stump was still standing!

I wasn't going to be defeated and finally when I had finished the job I paraded around the garden holding the stump in the hair, singing the theme tune to Rocky as the family watched in amusement.

Today it's a different story. As I'm writing Monday's blog I'm sitting here with an ice-pack on my back, my arms feel like lead weights, and my fingers that clasped the handle of the axe with such determination now move with the grace of an eighty year old with arthritis. And I have a blister too.

The experience just goes to show how soft life has become for most people in the Western world. Daniel and his farther like some people still today in less developed societies will have worked at that pace, and force, for hours every day, and most days too.

I now know that making Daniel the son of a woods-man was perfect for his character because it gave him not only the physical strength he would need to survive, but also the mental strength you need not to give up when things become tough.

Because there is one thing I know about my battle with the stump, If it had taken another half an hours work I would have ended up calling out a tree surgeon.


Mark King

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