The maple tree was magical, of course, which was obvious to anyone that spared it even a minute of quiet contemplation. It stood sentinel in a beautiful field, quietly turning sunshine into itself and bothering nobody.
The logger, who had never quietly contemplated anything for a full minute in his entire life did not know that the tree was magical, and truthfully if he had he would not have cared in the least. Magic, if it stood between him and his paycheck, was nothing but another inconvenience in a world more or less filled with them.
On the Sunday the logger brought his ax out to the field, the sun was lazy, the clouds were fat and full of shapes to the suggestible mind (even the logger saw a duck and a train when he looked up). The logger took his time getting ready, using a whetstone to hone both sides of his ax and spitting carefully into his palms. He picked up his ax (which in a moment of unusual inspiration he had named Stella), swaggered up to the tree, lifted it high in the clear air, and swung with all of his might.
The logger might have noticed that the ax didn’t connect with the bark of the tree, but instead seemed to pass through it. He might have noticed that the ax, after passing through the tree, exploded like a firecracker. He might have noticed all these things, except that he noticed nothing, because he had been turned at just that instant into a cup of chocolate and vanilla layered pudding.
Written 6/19/16 at The High Line Park for a woman whose favorite pudding flavor was chocolate and vanilla layered.