Thursday, April 20, 2017

Malayan Cherry Tree II

Image may contain: plant, tree, sky, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: plant, flower, nature and outdoor
Jamaican Cherry Tree/ Malayan Cherry Tree/
Muntingia calabura
Jamaican/Japanese Cherry, Buah Ceri/Kerukup Siam(Malay)

This is a tree of my youth, it evokes a lot of emotions. some of us remember it with LOL now, some with anger, and some block it.

The Cherry Tree is named for its sweet sticky fruits, juicy and full of tiny seeds. They are a favourite with birds and bats, which disperse the seeds, and children too! The leaves are covered with tiny sticky hairs. 

When I was in Junior primary school, we lived in Padang Road where it was government quarters for civil servants. In the garden where mum and dad kept ducks and chicken, there were two saplings that we were told to be cherry trees. There were tiny fruits which were sweet with a hint of tart. Father told us not to climb the trees.

But we didn't listen. The bigger fruits were up on top, and there were sparse ones at the bottom. We climbed, timing it that we climbed down before Dad came home.

That fateful day, Dad drove home while we were still up the tree. He ordered us upstairs, without a word, he took the axe and chopped down the trees. We looked out of the window feeling so ashamed. 

It seemed the whole neighbourhood's aunties and uncles were there finger pointing at us, probably discussing what naughty children we were to invoke the anger of Dad and provoked him to chop the tree down. The children were torturing us showing the big cherry.

I was still angry because it was such an embarrassment.  About ten years ago, we kids talked about it. I expressed my hurt arguing why did Dad plant the tree knowing children being children will climb the tree to get the fruits. Rose, the oldest sister said, Dad didn't plant the tree, a bird had planted it. Elizabeth said, it was better for the trees to be chopped down, then for us to fall and break a leg, and worst still, for us to land on our head with fatal consequences.

Recently, on internet, a school allowed students to climb trees until a student fell and died. That was the end of tree climbing in that school. 

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