I took Fifi for a walk earlier today and came upon a tree wrapped in a belt of clear plastic. The bark was thick and dark, and amber sap dripped along deep ridges, as though the tree was very old, very sad. It must have grown for over a hundred years to reach so high, to stand so thick and sturdy through the middle. Its roots made a tidy mountain of the sidewalk that the gardeners had covered with wood chips. The tree was to be removed, a notice read, and anyone who objected should attend a public hearing to protest its execution. I rested my hand on the bark. This old friend did not look sick; its limbs were strong, with flamboyant clusters of green needle pom poms that shook in the wind. I had missed the public hearing. Dejected, I turned away, then noticed a second piece of paper thrust beneath the cling wrap. Fluorescent pink letters leapt off the page:

PLEASE COME AND TESTIFY ON BEHALF OF THIS TREE.