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Tree, Spare that Woodman   By: (1915-2003)

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In Dave Dryfoos' thought-provoking book, the author delves into the complex relationship between humanity and nature through the story of a woodman and a tree. "Tree, Spare that Woodman" presents a unique blend of environmental themes and philosophical introspection, capturing the reader's imagination from the very first page.

The narrative centers around the encounter between an ordinary woodman and a supernatural tree, a dynamic that challenges both characters' preconceptions about their roles in the world. Dryfoos masterfully crafts the woodman as a relatable everyman, caught in the struggle to make a living by exploiting nature while experiencing a growing sense of guilt. This inner turmoil finds a voice when the tree reveals its profound sentience, forcing the woodman to confront the consequences of his actions.

Through vivid descriptions and poignant dialogue, the author beautifully articulates the intricate relationship between humans and the environment. By giving the tree agency and a voice, Dryfoos invites readers to reflect on our collective responsibility towards nature. The contrasting perspectives presented in the book offer a poignant reminder that every action we take has consequences, and that our long-term survival depends on finding a harmonious balance with the natural world.

The book's pacing keeps the reader engaged throughout, seamlessly blending moments of introspection with action. The woodman's journey of self-discovery is an emotional rollercoaster that prompts readers to consider their own relationship with nature and the choices they make in their day-to-day lives.

One aspect that could have been further explored was the broader societal implications of the woodman's experiences. While the focus is primarily on the individual, a more comprehensive exploration of how societal systems and structures perpetuate environmental harm would have added depth to the narrative. Nevertheless, the book succeeds in sparking discussion and self-reflection on these important topics.

"Tree, Spare that Woodman" is a must-read for anyone concerned about the state of our planet. By humanizing nature and promoting empathy towards non-human entities, this book encourages readers to reevaluate their own role in the world. With its blend of engaging storytelling and thought-provoking ideas, Dryfoos' work stands as a compelling call to action for a more sustainable future.

In conclusion, "Tree, Spare that Woodman" magnificently captures the essence of our interconnectedness with the natural world. Dave Dryfoos' ability to intertwine environmental themes with philosophical insights makes this book a powerful reminder of our individual responsibility towards preserving our planet.

First Page:

[Illustration: Illustrated by FRIES]

Tree, Spare That Woodman


The single thing to fear was fear ghastly, walking fear!

Stiff with shock, Naomi Heckscher stood just inside the door to Cappy's one room cabin, where she'd happened to be when her husband discovered the old man's body.

Her nearest neighbor old Cappy dead. After all his wire pulling to get into the First Group, and his slaving to make a farm on this alien planet, dead in bed!

Naomi's mind circled frantically, contrasting her happy anticipations with this shocking actuality. She'd come to call on a friend, she reminded herself, a beloved friend round, white haired, rosy cheeked; lonely because he'd recently become a widower. To her little boy, Cappy was a combination Grandpa and Santa Claus; to herself, a sort of newly met Old Beau.

Her mouth had been set for a sip of his home brew, her eyes had pictured the delight he'd take in and give to her little boy.

She'd walked over with son and husband, expecting nothing more shocking than an ostentatiously stolen kiss. She'd found a corpse. And to have let Cappy die alone, in this strange world ...

She and Ted could at least have been with him, if they'd known.

But they'd been laughing and singing in their own cabin only a mile away, celebrating Richard's fifth birthday... Continue reading book >>

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