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Lacey and the tree with no leaves

In the middle of a wide-open field,

Stands a tall and sturdy Oak

Taller than any house I’ve seen"

"much taller than me" Lacey jokes

As each Autumn follows Summer

The leaves fall from every branch

Spring arrives, they all regrow

As warmer weathers advance

This Spring was very different

Lacey Dog felt somewhat dismayed

"There's no leaves on your branches yet,"

"Let us hope they are just delayed,"

The Oak folded her branches

Showed no care nor any worry

"I will grow my leaves when I want," She said

"I'm not in any great hurry."

Nobody ever cares whether

I grow my leaves or not,

So I'll grow them when I'm ready,

"Maybe this year, then maybe not."

"Beautiful green leaves," Said Lacey

"Is something everyone adores,

Let me tell you why I think it matters

You may just change your mind once more."

"Okay," Said the Oaktree,

"That sounds like a good scheme to me,

Tell me why having leaves,

Is good for everyone and me."

"Firstly think about the insects

So many live among your leaves

Caterpillars and Butterflies

The Ladybirds, Spiders, and Bees"

"Leaves give them nourishment

Shelters them also from the rain

It's safe to raise their babies too

Who then feeds on your leaves again"

"Starlings, Jays and Thrushes,

Your trunk is a Woodpeckers home,

Red Robins, Warblers and Sparrows,

A Tawny Owl perched all alone"

Twig nests with eggs fill your branches

Some nest high in your canopy

Eating nasty creepy crawlies,

That could harm you actually"

"Guests include a red furry fox

A small deer, a mouse and a rat

Squirrels run across the branches

Disturb a hanging sleeping bat."

"Young boys and girls climb way up high,

To the top branches of the tree,

They pretend they're superheroes

Maybe a naughty chimpanzee,"

“Hiding in your thick green cover

Imagine being Robin Hood

Children kick their football around,

Or swing on a seat made of wood”

"On the grass is spread a blanket

Summertime family picnic,

Egg sandwiches and fancy cakes

Orange squash and chocky biscuits"

"Sheltered from the heat of the day

They sit in the cool of your shade

Sitting out of the noonday sun

In the shadow, your leaves have made"

"Leaves don't just offer sunny shade

They can give shelter from the rain

But there'll be no shade or shelter

If, you don't grow your leaves again"

"So my friendly leafless Oaktree

Wildlife trusts you to be their home

Without your leaves, they cannot stay,

You may find yourself all alone."

"Say goodbye to Robin Redbreast,

To those caterpillars that crawl

To the jumpy, jumpy squirrels

And happy children playing ball"

"Say goodbye to the families

That picnic cool beneath your bough

Say goodbye to the Butterflies

And to the resting spotted cow"

Finally, Oaktree understood

She hung her head down in sorrow

Lacey dog said "I've got to go

I'll see you again tomorrow."

The Oaktree thought so long and hard

She thought throughout the night

She wouldn't let anybody down

She had to put things right

Next day when Lacey dog returned

She saw such a marvellous sight

Green leaves on the tall mighty Oak

Had all freshly grown overnight.

Through the Summer the green Oaktree

Played happy host to everyone

Birds, and Bees and the Butterflies

And little children having fun.

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