He babied them so.
Small, yet so much more than meets the eye.
His first set didn't seem to make it.
He'd heard that if kept frozen, that one day they would work. That's what he'd heard (in college or somewhere).
Paps told him once: "Look at how small they are, yet in them are contained the very secrets of the universe: a code that makes them grow into something they today are not. They contain all its features, but these secrets are only unlocked once they become a part of that universe, and then, and only then - when fully rooted in it. It is like being rooted in the infinite, our way.
How can one not believe in God when they witness His genius and yet still, it is so foolishly ignored?".
Unfortunately, he'd used up all the stock in that fifteen years since Paps died, and not one took.
Guess the freezer bit doesn't work after all. Damned college.
One night, he got drunk and went back to Pap's house. He couldn't even remember if he was in the right season for a harvest, but drunk, he didn't care. It would be worth going to jail for.
He laughed as he thought of the headline.
Oh well...might get the chance to write letters from a jail cell. Wouldn't this high-minded community of intellect just LOVE that!
He drove right up to the curb, in the middle of the night, hopped out of his truck and on hand and knee he began grasping wildly at the ground, collecting them from a sapling he'd planted years (and years) ago.
Vast handfuls, all he could carry. He loved stealing from the squatters who had stolen so much from him.
Dignity, once taken, can never be returned.
He thought of the trick he'd learned in the fields as a young man...to curl up his shirt and use it as basket; but there wasn't time...he had to do this fast, or the squatters might get him (or the corrupt police, who'd already sold themselves to the tree-loving dark side).
And, so he made his escape. He planted them. It was the beginning of Winter, but he knew he could make them work. He'd nurture them inside under roof, contrived light and warmth.
He babied them, every day. Checking the soil warmth, its moisture content, acidity and food.
Today they germinate (only two of them), and he has beautiful ornamental oaks in infancy.
A pity he can't put them in ground where they belong, on soil that today was his, but tomorrow of unknown "ownership".
And now it is his prayer that they will together survive trip and transport to grow in soil, far, far away...these saplings, his only connection to Pap's land, and he'd sooner be damned than leave them behind.
"Make them grow there Father. A part of me, a part of Paps...even a part of bonnie old they will be, in that far-away place that was once the death of ancestor past..." he almost cried as he thought of his relative who was killed in that new land to which he would travel, in a battle to win its independence in a different era, and a far, far different war.
His hopes were all about those blasted saplings, and little else.
"Danged ol' trees. Only thing they good fer is livin' in."