There was a young girl who longed for a place she could call her own. One day she decided to build a tree house; Something simple, in a quiet spot where she could relax and be herself. Determined, she ventured off into the woods and found the perfect tree. Leaning upon the mighty oak she looked up and asked…”May I borrow one of your branches to construct a little tree house?” The lonely old tree, excited to have some company whispered …”Why yes…yes! Please do!” She started building right away, using whatever she could find to construct the house. The new getaway didn’t have to be perfect, after all it wasn’t forever; just a place where she could hide until the Autumn leaves turned brown. After many long hours of hard work, she finally collapsed into the corner of her new little sanctuary. Staring out of the tiny window into the peaceful forest she smiled and felt safe, happy and content. She thanked the tree and wrapped her arms around its massive trunk. The tree stood proud and happy to have found a purpose….and a friend. As the days past, the little girl found herself adding more and more to her once simple structure. Furniture, books, clothes and soon she ran out of room for all of the “stuff”. The tree quietly suggested that perhaps she should not add anymore to the structure? It hinted that maybe it was time to find a younger…stronger tree? She ignored the tree’s requests and added yet another room. She crammed in still more…and more of her belongings. Beneath her, the branches proceeded to bend and creak from the added stress of so much baggage. She tried to reinforce the fortress with sticks and anything else she could find, and yet the branch continued to sag and the tree silently moaned. The girl became irritated at first, and then angry at the tree for not being stronger and supporting her house. Eventually, the branch snapped and the girl and everything around her tumbled to the ground. “I hate you screamed the girl”…as she stormed off out of the woods, never to return again. With its roots winding into the ground below, the tree could not go after the girl. Standing there sadly, with it’s leaves turning brown, the once mighty Oak raised its branches to the cold gray sky and stood alone and broken in the forest.