“Was that tree like that when we came this way before?” Emma’s mother asked, pointing to the tree with a gaping hole in its trunk.
Emma shook her head. “I don’t think so, mama. And oh! Mama! He’s talking!”
“Listen to me,” the old tree groaned.
Emma’s mother took her daughter’s hand. “This is a very strange day,” she said softly, more curious than afraid.
“All the world is alive,” the old tree spoke. “There is more to all of us than meets the eye. A tree is a tree, and as you can see, a tree can be something more.
“So do step lightly, and pay good mind, for you never know who you’ll be greeting and where.”
“Thank you, Mr. Tree,” Emma whispered.
Emma’s mother was too dumbstruck to speak, but she bowed her head in silent thanks to the great old tree as she and her daughter continued on their way home, seeing the world around her with different eyes.