There once lived a happy tree. It’s fruit tasted like apple candy. Everyone wanted a piece of this tree. They plucked its fruit and filled their pockets greedily. Until there was no more fruit to take. Just barren bark and branches to break. The face of the tree remained without hate. It sat unflinching, watching the hounds salivate.
Having no fruit, nothing more to take, the grabbing, grasping hounds had their appetites to slake. They found a way to fix the face of the tree, carving in their initials like they owned thee. Her sap weeping down, her wood splintering, the hounds slaked their thirst and stopped their whimpering.
The tree needed nothing, just the sun to be kind. It liked watching her branches rise up and intertwine. Having nothing to give, the hounds trailing off, she was left alone with nothing but moss. She shielded herself off in the shadows of her leaves, safe from the gluttonous hands of thieves.
Sometimes the hounds came sniveling by, smacking their chops and eating flower tops. They would find nothing and leave, wiping their sniffling noses on their sleeves.
The tree was with her rightful brood. A brotherhood of elms, it was beer that they brewed.
They welcomed her in, opened limbs to their heart. They called her a “chip off the old bark.” She was bruised and maimed, taking all of the blame, lied to and used, but the fermented ale diffused the abused. She was now back in, with good company. No longer feeling excluded, the elms wanted her there with them, included.
With her fruit growing back, feeling no lack, she felt she could achieve most anything. And give back whatever the sun may bring.