MADISON—A pine tree at the Westerfield family home reportedly brought the family joy, covered with sparkling lights and heirloom ornaments, as it stood transplanted in a tree stand with her trunk amputated at the roots. The family recorded a cute video of their cat, Ruffles, climbing the tree and clawing at the lights while more and more wrapped Christmas gifts appeared under the tree every day, camouflaging the pine’s constantly falling needles like tears in the rain.
A fresh wreath made from severed limbs from this same pine, dangling on the front door of the home, served as a sign of holiday cheer to by-passers and visitors. And, to the trees outside, as a warning of the savages living inside this house.
Every night, the Westerfields huddled together around the tree and sang Christmas carols as the pine clung to her dear life, sucking up the water from the tree stand like a hospital IV and watching her life flashing before her eyes, including the time when her father went missing from the forest last Christmas. Surrounded by so many smiles, the tree tried to look on the bright side. Maybe she wasn’t really feeling real, surging physical and psychological pain of being removed from home in the forest and having body parts cut off. Maybe this was just seasonal depression.
When the family baby wobbled by while learning to walk, grabbed a branch, and cried as he hurt his little hand on the needles, only then the tree felt a small glimmer of Christmas joy—a reminder that the Westerfields are slowly dying, too.