Perhaps the most famous three words uttered in literature,
“Et tu, Brute?” (Even you, Brutus?)
this expression has come down in history to mean the ultimate betrayal by one’s closest friend.
This scene, in which the conspirators in the Senate assassinate Caesar,
is one of the most dramatic moments on the Shakespearean stage.
The audience has just witnessed the arrogance and hubris of a ruler
who has sought, within a republic, to become a monarch, comparing himself to the gods.
Brutus, a friend of Caesar and yet a man who loves Rome
(and freedom) more, has joined the conspirators in the assassination,
a betrayal which is captured by the three words above in this famous Shakespeare quote.
Julius Caesar (III, i, 77)
(an odd guest / Julie Cook / 2019)
There has been a betrayal…as in an Et tu Brute sort of betrayal…but more about that in a bit…
as our story will twist us back to that moment of utter treachery shortly.
Saturday afternoon, in between laundry loads, I was walking by the kitchen’s backdoor
and instinctively cast a sideways glance out the door…
the door that leads into the garage.
Remember I’ve been gone for a week working at the main Woobooville in Atlanta.
My husband remained behind until late Friday afternoon…
just long enough for a crime to be committed.
Here is an image of a clue…breadcrumbs to a crime scene if you will…
and yes those breadcrumbs look very much like sawdust…hummmmm…
The plot thickens.
But back to Saturday and the backdoor…
“Why is there a pigeon sitting in the garage?” I holler out to my husband who is
perched in his new recliner in the den.
New recliners tend to make husbands want to perch.
He hollers back from the den, “We don’t have pigeons, it’s a dove.”
This coming from someone who has not even looked out the door to said bird of which I speak.
“Well, you might want to come look at this dove that is a pigeon” I counter.
To my husband’s credit, we are more rural dwellers rather than city folks…
rural folks who have doves and not city slicker pigeons.
Sure enough, my husband meanders into the kitchen, only to see a dove/ pigeon sitting
in the garage.
“Hummmm” he muses…“that is a pigeon”
“Really?!” I sardonically reply.
We both then wonder aloud as to what has brought a pigeon to our neck of the woods…
rather make that pasture.
“I bet it’s the trees” I sharply snarl.
“I don’t see how the trees have anything to do with a pigeon being in the garage” he bristles back.
Now our plot thickens even more…
You may recall the horrific tree debacle of October 2014.
I wrote a post about it.
I cried over it.
I bemoaned over it.
I mourned over it.
And I’ll admit, I eventually got over it.
Our house was once flanked by two majestic and stately oaks.
We live pretty much smack dab in the middle of what was once a pasture.
There are a few odd trees and a smattering of blasted sweet gums that dot the property.
Not my idea of wonderful trees…albeit for those two oaks.
The oaks began losing their leaves one summer.
Like in losing copious amounts of leaves.
Leaves were everywhere and it was driving my husband crazy because it was the middle
of summer and we were dealing with leaves like it was the end of Fall.
A year passed with a threat…“if those trees do that next year, they’re gone!”
The trees were sick but I didn’t know what to do.
No arborists out in our neck of the woods…uh, pasture.
But my husband knew what to do.
Cut them down.
For you see that seems to be my husband’s answer to everything.
It’s an “Off with their heads” mentality.
The bushes are out of whack, get rid of them.
Something is causing you a problem?
Let it go…as in literally let it go.
As he is a menace with a chainsaw.
The year passed and the trees lost more leaves even faster…
And then the trees were cut.
Afterward it did appear as if they were sickly and most likely would, in time,
probably have fallen.
Possibly falling toward the house.
Plus he constantly groused over the gutters and the mildew on that side of the house
always having to be cleaned…as in it was all the tree’s fault.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I like trees.
I didn’t want to admit that keeping the trees was a pain and a risk.
Fast foward to now.
We have a bank alongside the driveway that has—rather make that had–
two River Birch trees sitting at the top of the slope.
Two large, airy trees that have been home to a myriad of birdhouses, feeders, and nests
all while casting a lovely amount of shade in the summer months.
However, for those of you who do not know River Birches…
these trees need to be by rivers and not the latest greatest landscape answer.
These trees are fast growing trees and they are always shedding something
all four seasons…plus the least little storm, and snap goes their nimble thin branches…
littering the yard and driveway…not to mention clogging the gutters.
But for 20 years I’ve watched what came to me as tiny saplings grow into giants.
Hence why they are often thrown into landscaping—they grow fast and fill in the
Only to become monsters in more ways than one.
We use to have three of these trees but my husband had one cut down a few years back
that was precariously close to the house.
It didn’t start out precarious—but the rapidity of growth made it precarious.
Off with its head.
And it was gone.
Next, he threatened to whack down the remaining two.
Only to be countered with my begging and imploring wails of
NO—they are home to my birds.
They offer delightful summer shade…
So enter this past week.
I was conveniently out of town.
The plot was now hatched.
When the cat is away the mouse opts to cause havoc.
Well, I suppose this is where I should
confess tell you…that maybe…
just maybe, a while back during the summer,
I might have mentioned to him–
“please, if you must cut them, do it in the winter.”
But I wouldn’t use that in a court of law because I will plead the 5th.
So Thursday evening when my husband called to check in on the Mayor and me,
he made a quick mention that the tree men were coming the next morning, bright and early,
to cut down those trees.
WHAT?! I practically scream into the phone.
“Yep. I told you I was cutting them down and you had told me to do it in the winter…and
well it’s winter”
I never recall such I frantically wail.
But I knew my pleas were futile.
His mind was made up and there would be no compromising or changing his
“off with their heads” mindset.
I then quickly responded rather definitely…“well then, you better go out and
find some other type trees and have them planted and fix that mess pronto,
and I mean it!
I wasn’t even there to see it but I knew there’d be a mess.
And sure enough, I braced myself for what would greet me when I pulled into the driveway Saturday morning.
Or make that, what wouldn’t be there greeting me!
As this is all that remains…well make that two of these is all that remains…
So the moral to this little tree tale you might be asking…
Pigeons will erroneously show up when you cut down trees as they now think they’re
in the city and never…never ever leave a newly retired husband home alone…
especially during the winter…a husband who thinks
he needs to be about some major sort of project particularly when there’s nothing else he
can be doing when it’s dreary and cold.
A landscape guy will be out tomorrow to recommend a more compact type of tree!
Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”