Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Tree

You want to know why that tree is so special? Alright little one, I’ll tell you the legend as it’s been passed down through history.

Long ago, there were two great warriors, the best in the land. They were frightful enemies, however. Always getting into quarrels, but their fight was never allowed to finish. For one reason or another, one of the warriors would be called away to fight in war, or conduct a mission for the Emperor. Despite them being terrible adversaries, the two believed greatly in respect and honor toward even their opponents, and they understood that the needs of the country must be held above their own feud. Thus, when one warrior would be called away, the fight would be forced to cease, each promising that someday they would finish the fight and see victory over the other.
 What’s that? Why did they hate each other? Ah, that bit of the story’s been lost, unfortunately. In those days, the slightest insult could lead to a generations-long feud, if those involved were of the right temperament. Not too unlike today, really.

Anyway, after years of begrudgingly postponing the finish of their battle, the two warriors convinced the Emperor to release them from his service until they could finish what they had set out to do. It was a time of peace, so the Emperor agreed, as long as it was promised that the victor would return to aid the country again.

With their other obligations out of the way, the two set about planning the time and location of what would be their final battle. They would meet in a clearing outside of the capital, a level area where neither side could be said to gain an advantage. It would be a fair fight, each warrior armed only with his sword and his life of training and war. They would begin at dawn, and they would not stop until only one of them stood alive.

When dawn arrived, the two took their places in the field and began sizing each other up. They studied each other from a distance, looking for any weakness, anything that could give them an advantage. There they stood for hours, each planning the entire battle in their head, preparing for anything, preparing for everything.

It wasn’t until after noon that it happened.

It was like an explosion went off in the middle of the field. The two had charged so violently at each other and had countered so perfectly that the ground shook for a mile around. Every strike following only added to the quake, as the two were throwing such fury into the fight yet were so perfectly matched that the only thing capable of giving way was the ground itself.
It didn’t take long for the nearby villagers to come and see what was happening. Their very homes had shook and the air was filled with the violent ringing of swords. Within an hour of the first strike, the clearing became completely surrounded by a crowd of curious onlookers, a crowd that continued to grow the longer the fight went on. Everyone wanted to see the two great warriors fight, the spectacle being what it was.

The fight lasted longer than anyone could expect, though. Days passed, weeks, months, years. The seasons came and went, and the two fighters remained where they were, noticing nothing other than their opponents actions. It was believed that the fight would go on forever, as neither side showed the slightest hint of giving in. Despite terrible exhaustion, they refused to give in, refused to die. The world changed drastically around them, but they fought on.

Until one day.

One misstep and it was over. There was a victor. It had been many years since the fight began and the world was very different, but it was over. And on the edge of the clearing there stood this tree. It was a boom mic operator for a television broadcast of the fight that started when the crowd first arrived. I think his name was Terry.
Yeah…yeah, it was Terry.

Now he’s a tree.

That’s the story, little one, now go the fuck to sleep already.