In the middle of a wide clearing grew an enormous sprawling oak tree. The tree had been alive for over two hundred and fifty years. It sagged under the tremendous weight of thirty foot branches. The branches creaked in light winds, and groaned in strong ones. The fluttering noise of its millions of leaves in such winds could be deafening.
The tree was lonely.
Reaching such a majestic height had cost the tree any possibility of friendship. The shape of its wide branches and the litter of its millions of leaves choked out the sunlight underneath making it impossible for anything to grow. There was some solace in watching birds and squirrels play in its branches, but birds and squirrels do not speak the language of the trees. Trees are slower in their communications, more thoughtful, while birds and squirrels chitter at such an alarmingly fast rate that it is impossible for a tree to decifer their meaning.
In its loneliness, the tree died of blight.
Worms ate at its withering trunk until it wilted away in a pile of mulch. Eventually new trees sprouted up in the clearing. As young trees do, they fought each other for space to see who would be the biggest tree not knowing that one day one of them would be lonely too.