Big goings on here in Mahoosuc Mills. Some builders from up to Bangor tried to pull a fast one. They bought the old Johnson place over on Front Street, tore it down and we’re getting ready to slap up one of them McMansions, but first they decided to basically clear cut the lot, like they do. All systems were go, ‘til Esther Higgins intervened.
See, Esther’s property butts up against the one in question. She has a nice little antique cape with a white picket fence all ‘round. But here’s the thing: that fence is two feet inside Esther’s property line, and some of those trees set for demolition were hers.
Esther’s a woman of a certain age, retired bookkeeper, who seems mild mannered, but once riled, she is a force of nature. Folks still talk about the town meeting where Esther took exception to the proposed cuts the library budget. Faced with her sheer force of will, those selectman saw the light, and I’m proud to say, our library is still going strong.
Well, Esther was some upset about the changes behind her house. The Johnson’s had been great neighbors for forty years before they had to move into Mahoosuc Green Senior Living.
As Esther says, “Their little ranch house was just fine, thank you very much. No need to tear it down, just a waste of time and money. And to destroy beautiful old trees because you’re too lazy to work around them, is a crying shame!”
So, early one morning, Esther sees those builders and their tree cutting equipment heading toward her trees. The ones on the far side of the fence, but her’s and she could prove it. The ones that would block Esther’s view of the McMansion and keep the folks in the McMansion from looking into Esther’s yard.
Esther sizes up the situation and realizes drastic measures are needed. Them contractors from away didn’t know what hit ‘em. Esther materialized between them and the biggest pine tree. She stood, all five foot three inches of her, in pink capri pants, a cat tee shirt and sturdy sneakers, hands firmly planted on hips, gray permed hair shining like a helmet in the early morning sun.
I’ll let Charlie take it from here.
Builders came and said, “OK,
That tree right there is in our way
We got ourselves some plans a-cookin’
Let’s cut it down while no one’s lookin’”
But Esther Higgins, 68
Ran out and told them fellas, “Wait!
That tree, to me’s my favorite pine
And it’s within my property line!
“You tell them chainsaw fellas, stop,
Or I’ll climb that sucker to the top!”
And that she did, the neighbors came
And started yelling out her name
‘Til good ol’ Officer Ed arrived
And stopped whatever they’d contrived
“You harm that tree, and without fail
I’ll see you all end up in jail!
“Now, don’t just stand around and stare,
Haul Miss Higgins down from there!”
So up they sent young Billy Fletcher
In their bucket lift to fetch her
Once our feisty gal appeared
Everybody up and cheered
‘Cept, of course, them builder guys
Who, as they left, could not disguise
How ticked they were, one even cracked
“We’re outta here, but we’ll be back
To build upon this overlook”
But Esther didn’t look too shook
They fought it out, no surprise
But musta reached a compromise
A branch or two was trimmed, all righty
But Esther’s tree stands high and mighty
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
Upcoming Book Events and Performances
September 19: A Visit With Ida, Westbrook Seniors at Westbrook Community Center, 1:00pm, Westbrook, ME
September 23 & 24: The View From He’ah Variety Show with special guest international storyteller Antonio Rocha, http://actonenh.org/ Friday at 7:30pm, Saturday 2:00 & 7:30pm, Portsmouth, NH
October 11: A Visit With Ida, GFWC Maine State Conference, 7:00pm, Auburn, ME
October 25: Book Reading: The Sweet Life, Bailey Public Library, http://www.baileylibrary.org/ 6:30pm, Winthrop, ME