It’s ‘skite-time”. . . Mission: To remove a leaning coconut tree preferably dropping it between the Fale and the swimming pool. Well, Mission Accomplished! Sometimes you can get things right in Paradise.
Whatever you do, don’t build under a tree in Samoa – any tree, ever.
I’ve learned this lesson very well and there are no exceptions. The big ones grow fast but snap easily in the winds and they can fall over in the middle of the night, yup – for no apparent reason too.
The coconut trees are just as bad, not because they fall over (they don’t) but because they are lethal weapons. I left one standing in error beside ‘The Chicken Coop’ and regretted it as everytime I had a guest or children I would have to tell them not to stand or walk or play in one certain area underneath it.
“Why?” they would all ask.
“Just look up”, I would say, but most Palagis still didn’t get it.
Twenty metres up in the sky there are a bunch of deadly missiles just awaiting to launch. I’d pick a fallen one up and say, “Right, now feel the weight of this? Imagine that at terminal velocity. It will kill you”, and it could too.
Nobody believes that story so I have to go further and get visual.
“See those dents in the ground?”
“Well they’re from the coconuts that have already fallen this week. There’s more just waiting for you up there”, and I point.
A three inch deep crevass in the ground is usually enough visual evidence to at least get the Palagi thinking about it. They still all walk underneath it though because they are not attuned to danger from the sky where they come from, so the coconut tree just had to go!
Easily said, BUT the thing was on a lean, 20m in the sky and over my new Fale, The Flying Coconut (named for the mural on its roof of course).
I borrowed a long rope from a mate down the road, PROMISING him that I’d have it back to him before dark . . . begged another mate to send one of his boys over to climb the tree with the rope and then got serious. I tied one end to the car, the other to the top of the tree and pulled it over about 5m to the position that I thought it might fall where I wanted it.
I cut theV, then slowly, cut the back of the tree until I could hear it starting to crack.
The boy and I just stepped back and watched it all happen in slow motion . . . yup, a perfect shot – right between the swimming pool and the Fale, just to the right of the mango tree and just to the left of the pawpaw tree, and right in between all my Hibiscus plants.
We dropped another one the same way that was over ‘Clochemerle’, got the boy off to his Saturday job only a few minutes late and the rope back to my mate before the sun had even gotten hot!
I slipped back to Camp Samoa, chopped the thing up into pieces and thought to myself – I will NEVER build under a tree in Samoa, ever again. And unless it’s a banana tree, I won’t. I’ve dropped a lot of trees around this land in Samoa and had a few accidents in the process. My extension ladder doesn’t extend now thanks to a falling branch that I misjudged.
The original lean-to house before I rebuilt it after Cyclone Evan got one corner munted by the branch of one tree that came a little too close, and the other corner got a bang when I dropped another biggie.
This one however went the right place, nicely.
So what do you do with a chopped up coconut tree? Not really sure actually!
This is where they ended up (for the moment):
Thanks for popping in.