He was already there when she thrust her first tendrils into the light. His wide branches could have kept the sun from her, but his swayed gently, letting her extend her branches up and her roots down. She grew bark and leaves. She budded. In time, her branches and her roots started to grow together with his, but he never seemed to mind.
Then there was a storm one summer, and the wind left him cracked and wailing. Men came the next day and cut him down. They had to cut her to pull his pieces away.
Autumn came, and the long sleep of winter. In the spring when she woke, she found him awake too. But he wasn’t the same.