A long time ago in a very harsh land, there lived a forest of many trees. In this forest, new trees grew quickly and died just as quickly due to the relentless storms and difficult weather conditions. Those trees that grew to a stately height and girth were always admired and envied by the young saplings, for they knew their odds of becoming a Tree That Stands were unfavorable. So it was that the little trees competed fiercely with one another, vying for a spot near one of the large trees. Into this competitive arena came an eager little sapling who grew among a large group of newcomers. Day in and day out, the young trees would push one another, endlessly competing for sun and water and earth, and this was the only life our eager little sapling knew.
One night a terrible storm came upon the forest. With howling winds and fierce hands, it ripped and tore at all the little trees until every single one of them were pulled from where they grew and thrown flat upon the ground. The next day they all moaned sorrowfully at their plight as, one by one, they sadly perished. All but one, that is. Our little sapling refused to accept her fate. She lay flat upon the ground and yelled, "I refuse to die!" So loud and ferocious was her voice that even the great trees in the forest turned an ear to listen in surprise. One huge, old, twisted, and gnarled tree looked down where she lay, and he smiled a secret smile. "Then don't," he said, and all of the other trees stared in amazement because it was the first time they had ever heard the venerable old tree speak.
And so she didn't die. She stayed right there, that little tree did, and she kept right on growing. "If I cannot grow upward, I'll grow outward!" Then she did as she said she would, and her arms reached out and then up and up and up, until each arm was its own tree. This bewildered all the great trees of the forest, except for the huge, old, twisted, and gnarled tree. He just smiled and laughed and said, "I could not have done better myself!"