He had a small house. So small it was easily dwarfed by the 40-foot ash tree that stood regally not 20 feet from the house in the backwoods. When people came down his driveway, they oohed and aahed over the sheer size and graceful stateliness of the arbor. Storms couldn’t budge the tree, but they caused the man to worry about his house, for should the tree fall, it would destroy the house and everything in it. Of that, the man was sure.
And one day the mother of all storms raced across the countryside. Warnings started a week in advance. People were told to evacuate from the lower areas closer to the water. The man had to leave his house and find shelter elsewhere fearing the worse. For 4 days he sat in a shelter listening to the winds and rain pummel the building, raising images of the tree cracking and swooping down on his home. He didn’t sleep for those 4 days, so sure was he that the tree had crushed his house and destroyed his belongings. On the fifth day, he was allowed to leave and return home.
When he got there, he saw, to his great relief, that the graceful, beautiful ash still stood watch over his house and no damage was sustained. The man ran up to the great ash and hugged it and thanked it.
And in celebration of the tree not falling on his house, the next day he had it cut down, so he would worry no more.