The park in happier days.

Jeff BaxterThe park in happier days.

Portland’s Mill Ends Park is just two feet in diameter — it’s really less of a park and more of a planter. Obviously, it’s the city’s smallest park, and in fact it holds the Guinness record as the smallest park in the world. And, as with many tiny cute things, people feel protective about Mill Ends. So they were outraged — or at least mildly bewildered — when, last week, someone stole the park’s only tree.

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This video goes beyond Portlandia sketch to Onion “What Do You Think?” sidebar. I especially like the cop who says with a perfectly straight face that justice will be swift and severe. It’s really inspiring to see people coming together in the wake of this tragedy, bonding over their mutual lack of complete indifference about this tree. It almost makes you want to move to Portland, except I hear tree thievery is at an all-time high.

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The park has already been repopulated, if perhaps not restored to its former glory — the city spent $3.25 to plant a new Douglas fir, which right now looks kind of like one of those sad trees you get in a bag from a elementary school on Arbor Day, but will surely one day be an impressive addition to this bonsai-sized green space. If only the hearts of Portlanders could be mended so easily.

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