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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Trees, Choirs And Politicians: Holidays At The Oregon Capitol

Chris Lehman
Northwest News Network

Imagine, for a moment, that you're a stately Noble fir, ensconced among your peers amidst a lovely forest on the Oregon coast. Summers are mild, winters are rainy; pretty much everything you could ever want as a tree. You start to think that this might be a nice place to retire.

Then, one day, a lumberjack comes along and slices you off at the knees. You're loaded onto the back of a truck and driven nearly 100 miles into a city, where you're shoved through a pair of double doors and set up in a cold, hard echo chamber. Then, just as you're settling into your new surroundings, some prison inmates come along and pull you to the floor. To add insult to injury (or perhaps injury to insult?), another fellow whips out a saw and cuts off a slice of your torso. Back up you go, and you're left thinking: "Could this possibly get any worse?"

It does, because a few evenings later...let's say Thursday evening at 5:30...a small band of politicians slip into your new living quarters and begin to give speeches. They drone on about what a wonderful state we all live in, then someone flicks a switch, and you're blinded by a dazzling and decidedly un-forestlike display of lights. Everyone else gets cookies and punch but you're stuck drinking water out of a bucket.

Take heart, our Noble friend. For it won't be long until your days are spent being serenaded by some of the most beautiful choirs around. Happy Holidays!