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Of Tree Sprites and Former Jobs

August 4th, 2009 · No Comments

I used to work at a public library. You meet all types at the library – see, the good part, is that anyone can go there….that’s also the bad part. However, I formed quite a rapport with many of the patrons. I stood out – for a good chunk of time I had hair ‘vampire’ red, thanks to Manic Panic, and shades of blue. Rather than making me unapproachable, people seemed to feel more comfortable talking to me. (Take THAT, library establishment!)

Anyway, I got to know lots of the people who came in lots of different ways. Nothing personal, of course, because I wanted to keep my distance, but friendly.

There was one oldish man who often came in, who appeared to be at least partly Native American, which on Long Island isn’t terribly common or uncommon. There were a few tribes that lived here before the white people came and killed ‘em all or made ‘em move, and I do believe there is a reservation or two. Anyway, this man may have been part Native American, or at least fascinated with the colour. He often wore bird feathers in a braid in his hair, a medicine pouch, and other such things. He was sweet, and mischievous.

One year, for Halloween (for which I always dressed up), I went as a tree sprite. I had bought a green shirt and brown skirt from the second hand store, and fabric paint which I used to paint leaves and stuff on the shirt, and trunk like stuff on the skirt. I also wrote ‘Tree Sprite’ on the shirt, so people could figure it out. I pinned two of those McDonald’s teenie beenie babies on me – a bird on my shoulder, and a squirrel on my chest.  I wore a garland of (fake) leaves and berries  in my hair, trailing down my back, and did my make up in some earth tones. It was fucking adorable!

While at work, that nice man came by, and he knew right away I was a tree sprite, and he complimented me on my outfit and choice of costume. Then we had this conversation.

“So, you know what happens when a tree sprite’s tree is cut down, right?” He asked, very solemnly.

“It dies.”


“But we protect the trees we live in, so that won’t happen!” I said.

“Of course!” he said, still very serious “And you do a good job at it. So all you really have to worry about are dendrophiliacs!”

For a moment, we were both dead serious, and then we both burst out laughing, confusing the crap out of everyone around us.

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Tags: my life · my past

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