By Charlie Peters with Elizabeth Hobbs
Once there was a small tree and a young child. The child loved the tree and the tree loved the child. They grew up together and were inseparable.
As the child grew, they learned to dance and, as with everything the child learned, they wanted to share this new skill with their best friend the tree.
The child discovered, however, that trees cannot dance like people do. Trees have roots and not feet. The child was sad and so was the tree. How, they wondered, could they be friends if they couldn’t dance together? The tree grew sad and started to wish that it didn’t have roots at all.
It was only when the child and the tree looked around them and saw the older trees of the land that they started to cheer up. Trees, they realized, do not dance like humans do. Trees dance like trees do. Trees sway in the breeze and rock in the wind. They stretch slowly but surely toward the sun and they shrink into themselves in the winter. Theirs is a slow dance of climates and seasons and lifetimes.
Realizing this, the boy and the tree were elated. Of course they could be friends! They would each dance in their own way. They would dance differently but they would dance together. They hugged one another and danced: the child with their feet, and the tree with its branches. The child fast and the tree more slowly.
“How silly we were,” they said to each other, “to think that the only way to dance is like a human!”
They laughed and laughed. And they continued to dance.