Once when I was on a long boring car ride from Rhode Island to New York, I began playing a hypothetical thought game with my friend Mike.  I asked what sort of tree he would like to be.  My old comrade did not respond by shouting out “purpleheart” or “bubinga” like a normal person, but rather, as is his wont, he asked a series of probing questions.

“Could I move around?” he asked.

“Of course not, you’re a tree,” I replied.

“Well, would I have the intellect of a tree?”

“No, you would have a human’s intellect and senses”

“Wait, could I do anything?”

“You could wave your arms–although it might be the breeze–and of course you could slowly grow…expand your roots deeper into the mountain, that sort of thing” I sagely relied. “I suppose you would be granted extremely long life though, unless you chose to be a…”

“Fie upon that!”* he interjected angrily. “I refuse to play your stupid game.  I don’t want to be imprisoned for centuries in some sort of hell tree!”

So that was that.  I still don’t know what kind of tree my friend would be (although, now that I think about it, that scenario does seem to be fairly dire).  In hopes of enticing him to give me a better answer, here is a gallery of sentient, anthropomorphic trees I found around the internet.  The one at the top of the post is a painting titled “General Sherman” by the disconcerting contemporary artist Mark Ryden from his 2007 “Tree Show” and the first one below is “the Brain Tree” a character from an online game who dispatches players on virtual scavenger hunts.  As for the rest, I’m not sure. They were not properly attributed to the troubled individuals who designed them.  I fear you will just have to let them wash over you without knowing who made them or why. So, without further ado, here are a bunch of anthropomorphic trees:

The Brain Tree from "Neopets" (there might be a New England pun in there)

Wow, that…that got really creepy.  It’s just possible (though unlikely) that Mike was right.

(*It should be noted that I have paraphrased this long-ago conversation–partly due to the distorting effects of memory and partly because of coarse language.)