Tree Counter

He works at night, checking into the least salubrious hotels of the districts he visits. A leather overnight bag and a smaller black leather bag which jingles with the stamped metal identity tags. His life is one of soup of the day and a glass of red wine, an early night, then rising hours before dawn to walk the hedgerows, footpaths and green lanes of the country, literally putting his stamp on the trees which require it. This Kafkaesque life, secretive and swift, tagging sometimes hundreds of trees in the witching hours, before returning early morning for a pot of coffee and buttered toast. A man of unseen efficiency working his magic into his melancholy life. He’s no sooner here than he’s gone, leaving nothing more than a circular silver disc riveted to certain trees.

Why he does this and who he does this for is unknown, but the expenses get paid and the pay cheques get cashed at the post offices, never the same place twice, always moving on to the next tree.

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