The single thing to fear was fear—ghastly, walking fear!
"I'll make him wait!"
Stoutly your pot-bellied little protector prevents his protective mother from going to pot.
"If he won't play, I'll use my ray gun on him!"
Obviously, the tree won't play. Watch your son lift empty hands, arm himself with a weapon yet to be invented, and open fire on the advancing foe.
So that's how a ray gun sounds!
"You're dead, tree! You're dead! Now you can't play with me any more. You're dead!"
* * * * *
Seeing it happen, then, watching the tree accept the little boy's fantasy as fact, Naomi wondered why she'd never thought of that herself.
So the tree was a treacherous medicine-man, was it? A true-believing witch-doctor? And who could be more susceptible to the poisoning of fear than a witch-doctor who has made fear work--and believes it's being used against him?
It was all over. She and the tree bit the dust together. But the tree was dead, and Naomi merely fainti
The colonists eventually discovered that the trees not only travelled, but that they were telepathic and had low-level intelligence. The problem was that they competed for the same water, nutrients, and sunlight as the colonists' crops.
The mother and boy are good characters and the growing menace of the trees is well done. Short, but a good story.