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The Oldest Oak

By Mark Ludwig Stinson

The ground in the forest was covered with young acorns. Many had landed on wide stretches of black earth, but several acorns found themselves on the edge of a rocky bluff. The acorns that were laying in easy places to grow laughed at the acorns near the bluff, because the ground beneath them was filled with rocks and growing into a tall oak tree there would be very difficult. But, one of the unfortunate acorns ignored the laughter and made the best of his difficult spot to grow.

A few years later all the acorns had grown into young oak trees. The ones who had grown on the wide stretches of black earth had sprouted and grown taller quickly and easily. The nutrients in their soil was simple to find and running their roots out into the ground had been an effortless task. But there was only one small oak remaining at the top of the bluff. He had to work for every inch of growth. His roots had to push down through the rocks and earth, seeking out whatever nutrients he could find on the edge of the bluff. The tall young oaks in the rich black earth sometimes teased their stunted brother on the edge of the bluff.

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