There was a little man called Raynor who lived alone in an old house, behind a wooden fence, next to a lively brook. Between the brook and the house there lived an old oak tree that was now rotting and almost dead. It had sheltered Raynor his whole life as it had sheltered his father and his father before him, and Raynor in exchange spoke everyday to the dying tree and comforted him. He thanked him for the life they had had together and for the friendship the tree had bestowed, for he knew that every day might be the last.
Raynor did not have any other friends, and so the tree had been his companion. At times he cried out to the highest branches and the highest leaves and he prayed for them each. He called to the birds that flew above them and to the spirits that looked down from high and he begged them all with tears to save his old oak friend. When the sun was at it hottest he would lead his roots to the brook and help them drink; when the wind blew hard he tended to every crack and wound that appeared on the bark and he collected every leaf that fell so he could lay them over the ground and warm the tree as it slept. All he wanted was to give back some of the care that the old tree had shown to his family, and he did so in everyway he could.
He never knew whether the tree could hear him or if the tree was in pain. He would never know whether he helped or hindered, yet he knew that he owed the tree and he knew what comfort this great tree had given. So he continued to talk, to caress and to weep until one day the oak began to sway, and began to creek and Raynor knew that life behind the fence, next to the brook would never be the same. “Leave me something to remember you by” little Raynor said to his truest and biggest and most gentle friend. “Give me something that may keep you alive in me, and that will keep me alive by the brook”
And as he spoke the old oak began to bend, began to sway and began to fall. Little Raynor saw it move, then he saw it tumble and he watched as it crashed through the fence and towards his little old house. He watched it smash through the roof and the rafters. He watched it splinter the windows and the doors and the tables and the chairs. He watched as it smashed his pictures and his bed and his kitchen and his heart until it moved no more, and lay dead. His old friend had betrayed him. His biggest and truest and most gentle friend had taken his life, and had torn all his memories, for it had never heard him. The very tree for whom he had prayed, the very tree that he had nurtured and the very tree that had protected him, had now ruined him without ever knowing he was there.