The Strength of Innocence (a fable)

a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

I followed a track in the wilderness
when it began raining, slid into a hole
that was quickly filled with lukewarm
mud, got stuck, yawned and fell asleep.

When I awoke I was a pretty little
tree with shimmering, translucent green leaves
A flock of sheep passed by and
a lamb wanted to nibble at my leaves.
No its mother said, it’s a alien plant and
it might be poisonous,
but when the ewe turned its back
the lamb took a hasty lick,
spat, ran to its mother, baaed its agony and
with yellow foam around its innocent lips,
collapsed and died.

Other plants shrunk away from me and
I was in the middle of a clearing where
nothing grew but me.
In the night the lamb’s soul merged with mine
and we became undivided.
In the morning we’re in the centre of a beautiful glade
where grass grew succulent, sheep came and grazed.
Now that we’re a tall tree
the pastor likes to eat his lunch,
away from the sun, under our leafy branches.