The Guardian Tree stood his post on the edge of the wood. Oh, how he had envied so many of the other saplings when he was in his youth. They, with their green foliage and spreading branches.
Ugly, I’m just ugly, he had thought. He had often repeated those words to himself, as he pondered his dull grey bark and stubby pointed branches.
When he was in his twenties these short branches began to thicken. While still short, they had begun to harden as well, and the points upon their ends became more pronounced.
He still didn’t see himself as beautiful. Oak and Maple, they still caught the eye of most passers-by, but Guardian knew he was appreciated by many in the forest. His unassuming looks, and power of character often drew comments of quiet praise from those who knew him and his purpose.
When he was forty-five, he was proud to take the Guardian’s Oath. He would stand firm, laying down his own life if necessary, for the “Good of the Wood.” How many Birches and Willows depended on him? How many saplings of every kind of bark and leaf stood behind his grey-spined trunk?
So for twenty more years he stood, silent protector on the edge of his community. Many of the young still marveled at him and his brethren standing in their quiet vigils. It seemed that the society as a whole, secretly even questioned why they were needed.
Then, un-expectantly the day came. “Beavers!” the panicked cries rang out. But there, when others cowered, the Guardians stood firm.
In tribute to law enforcement, the military, and others that quietly serve.