Well, this was one of the kindest photo shoots I’ve been on in a while. The Kenerly kids 4 live next door to Frank and Bonnie. Frank and Bonnie have lived in this house for over 30 years and this next week one of his favorite trees will have to come down. It has been named the “Stinky Tree” because as it has been slowly dying for several years, it has truly started to smell…hence it’s name. But Frank loves this tree and his neighbors know it. So, to celebrate the tree and Frank’s love for it, they did a photo shoot and Rosemary Kenerly (mother of the Kenerly 4) wrote this short story to go along with it.
Frank and the Stinky Tree
A Love Story
Across the street, there stands a tree, the strangest tree you ever did see.
This tree is so tall that it touches the sky. I think it’s a hazard for plane flying by.
The branches stretch out to the mountains and beach, but me, I can’t climb it; I’m too small to reach.
I wouldn’t climb it anyway, and I’ll tell you why: this tree smells so bad it makes my sis cry.
The aroma reminds me of 10-day old trash, with fishbones and garlic and dad’s corned beef hash.
The milk that I spilled on the floor in mom’s van can’t compete with the stench from that big leafy man.
The worst part of it all is the gunk in its trunk, the steamy, rank ooze that spills from it’s trunk.
The slime attracts bugs, slugs, hornets and bees; and send more foul notes with every slight breeze.
The man who lives every day with the stank is our across-the-street neighbor, the one and only Frank.
By days he sells house, nights and weekends too; and in his free time he tends to the tree with the goo.
Frank rakes the leaves, fertilizes and weeds; he picks up the acorns on his hands on knees.
Frank climbs on the roof to inspect his tall friend; and he takes it in stride when the smell does offend.
I have to admit, Frank’s a pretty great guy. He has boxes of mac-n-cheese in case we stop by.
A crate full of candy is stashed under his chair. He says it’s for him, but he does like to share.
Frank has TV’s in his kitchen, office and den, always tuned to cartoons for his neighborhood friends.
He has furry friends; his house is a zoo. From the porch he feeds cats, possums and a fox too.
Frank can build a mean fort with blankets and rugs, and he’s generous with his smiles and his hugs.
He comes to our soccer games, concerts and plays. Frank and wife Bonnie babysit on Tuesdays.
I love you, I love you, I love you they say. And we love them back more and more every day.
And that old stinky tree, it’s not totally bad. The slime feeds dandelions and makes butterflies glad.
Its shade makes a great resting place, the trunk the perfect freeze tag home base.
You know the more I think about it, that tree’s really sweet, and the guy who lives with it, you simply can’t beat.
True, Frank and his tree are an unusual pair. Still every day I ask Mom to go there.
Forget the odor and ooze, it’s friendship I choose.
I’ll follow my nose to the house where love grows.