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There once was a tree unlike any other… It was a strong tree, powerful and majestic, a tree that… Hang on a second. What say we go back to the beginning? No, seriously, like… the VERY beginning. OK? All right, let's try this again. There was once a little sprig that was unlike any other

It was a tiny little thing, fragile and unassuming… The kind of little sprig that sprouts up by the thousands in the forest. It was lost in the crowd, obscured in the undergrowth. No one could have imagined what would eventually become of such a delicate little plant. No one suspected that it would one day leave its mark on the history of the the Krosmoz. And yet…

It was deep in the heart of the Treechnid Forest that this little sapling decided to put down its roots. And when a tree picks out a home, it's there for life! I mean… That's what everyone always used to think, anyway. But like they say, there's always an exception that proves the rule, right?

As time went by, the little sprig became a sapling. From that sapling grew some buds, which in turn grew into leaves. The sapling became a stem, which became a shrub, which became a tree trunk. More and more leaves grew, and they all grew stronger and stronger… topping the solid trunk with a magnificently dense and leafy crown. Within just a few years, a powerful and unshakeable tree stood proudly in the middle of the forest.

The Treechnid spent many happy and peaceful days with its friends in the forest. The wind gently caressed its foliage. The rodents scratched its bark. The birds chirped cheerfully in its ears. And once in a long while, an adventurer settled in at the base of its trunk for a nap. Yet its life was anything but boring, for often, the tree would witness an event that forced it out of its ordinary routine. Sometimes, a starstruck lover would come to carve his beloved's name into its flesh. The tree would then let its sap flow out through these cuts without flinching, despite the pain. Other times, it saw duels between Arachnees dashing from one leaf to the next. One advantage of its immense size was an incomparable view of everything that was happening in the World of Twelve. A performance that was entertaining, thrilling, and dramatic by turns… but one that it never grew tired of!

But what the tree appreciated most of all was its ability, however unintentional, to protect others. Children who had wandered a little too far from home, caught in the rain or a thunderstorm, came to seek shelter under its leaves. Bow Meows, chased by Bow Wows, leapt nimbly from branch to branch to hide as high up as they could. Not to mention the Tofus who made their nests in its branches to create new life.

If only the tree had known that one day, it would take its role as a "protector" to its logical limit, saving a young Sadida from certain death (and a nasty one at that: death by drowning!) after she dozed off on a branch. If only it had known that one day, this act of bravery, of pure and unadulterated altruism, would lead it to pull up its roots altogether! But all that was still many years in the future…

In fact, the tree had shown that same desire to see the world from a different perspective and get out of its comfort zone from a very young age, even if it didn't realize it… It is said that when the tree was still nothing but a "mini-sprig", it had already broken the single most important rule of the Treechnid community:

THOU SHALT NEVER PULL UP YOUR ROOTS.

At the time, of course, its roots were as soft and weak as a Sadida who's just stumbled out of bed… So it had no trouble at all pulling them gently out of the ground, sliding them out of the tunnels they had made in the loose soil like so many earthworms.

From there, the little sprig (barely knee-high to a Gobball at the time) ventured out into the lush forest. Of course, it narrowly avoided being eaten or trampled by any number of forest creatures as it wandered. Legend has it that a lucky star appeared to the little sprig to guide it to the right path. A benevolent soul by the name of Silvosse…

"Well! What are you doing here, little one? With your roots all exposed, no less!"

"Just visiting the forest, sir… There's so many trees here. I counted 'em all!"

"Oh, really?" replied Silvosse with a wry smile.

"Yeah!" The little sprig stretched out its roots and started counting aloud. "Oooone… twoooo… freeeee… fooooour…"

"Sorry to interrupt, but… why didn't you just stay with the others where it's safe? The forest can be a dangerous place for a defenseless little sprig like you, you know."

"I don't know… Don't you think it's a shame, sir, to have all these nice roots and never use 'em?"

"Aaaah, but you use them every day, you see. You just didn't know it. They're helping you to grow into a big strong grown-up Treechnid! Those roots let you pull all the energy you need to grow from right there in the soil…

"Yeah, I know, but… I was getting a little bored. And then I heard these funny noises. I hear creaking and cracking everywhere in these woods!"

"Ha ha ha! That's perfectly normal, my little friend! That's just the forest! You're a part of it too… You and all your Treechnid friends."

"Oh, and then… I heard someone calling. Someone who needed help. But I couldn't find them. They were calling, "Whoo! Whooooo!"

Silvosse smiled tenderly.

"I imagine that was an owl, little one…"

"Have you ever seen what it's like outside the forest, sir?"

"But of course. A wonderful world. But you're still too small and fragile to see it. Later, when your trunk has grown big and strong and your branches reach up to the sky, you'll be able to see it with your own eyes."

"You mean… someday I'll be big like him???" asked the little sprig, pointing at a gigantic Treechnid towering over them nearby.

"Of course! And you'll have a magnificent view of the world you're so curious to see… You'll be able to see things no one else can see. But for now, you'll need to have a little patience. Go back where you came from and plant your roots back in the ground. Can you do that for me?"

The little sprig politely consented. Silvosse went with it and helped it to put its roots back in place. Even then, the protector of the month of Flovor knew that there was something special about this Treechnid. They'd probably meet again someday…

The Soft Oak had followed the Master of Cuttings' sage advice, and he's certainly grown up big and strong since then! Ready to take on the Boss Smasher for September?