The Old Man of the Tree

Nemo claimed the old man of the tree lived in its trunk, and therefore they should cut off the branches only. Omen claimed the old man of the tree lived in its branches, and therefore they should cut off the trunk only. But little Claire pointed out that nobody really knew where in the tree the old man of the tree lived. She proposed imagining him living someplace they all agreed he didn’t live, such as in a hut at the foot of the tree.

“Now if he lived in that hut, would the old man of the tree agree for you to cut down all of the tree?”

“Certainly not,” said Nemo, “but rather, the whole tree were precious to him.”

“We should cut down no part of it,” agreed Omen.

“Well then,” said little Claire, “since he should object from his hut at the foot of the tree, and wheresoever he lives, we all agree he lives closer to the tree than that hut, don’t you think he should all the more object if we cut down any part of the tree?”

Nemo and Omen reluctantly conceded the point.

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