There was once a young sapling that sprang up among other trees in a magical forest where trees could speak. The magical forest had a single, sparkling river that flowed through it, providing water for the whole forest. Hundreds of years passed for those trees, and the young sapling grew into a large tree and flourished with its older tree brethren. As it grew older, it noticed that there weren't any trees of similar age, as all the other trees were at least several hundred years older. Eventually, the older trees grew stiff and creaky, and withered away, and the youngest tree was left without a tree to call friend.
Then, the humans came. They came and cut down the old withered trees and used the wood for houses, and firewood, and for boats and carts. They left the only living tree alive however, perhaps recognizing its virality and beauty. Over time, the giant tree became the center of the people's focus, their religion, as well as its growing town. In all this, the tree did not speak.
"The great tree will smile upon our efforts!" "The great tree must not feel well today." They used the tree as the reason for everything. Perhaps if they prayed to the great tree the rain would fall? Or, they could do well in life. The people also invented great myths for the tree. The great tree noticed all these things, and finally one day could stand it no more.
"Enough!" the rumbling voice of the tree resounded, shaking the ground and the hearts of the people. "I am not your god!"
Of course, tree language is very different from human language, and the humans could not understand. At first, they said nothing, and soon after they started cheering. The whole population of the town, young and old, all ran towards the tree to welcome their god.
The townspeople asked many questions and worshipped the almighty tree, rejoicing. The tree attempted to retaliate and dispel their celebration, but it only grew more festive and wild with every word the tree spoke. The children fashioned masks of wood in honor of their god, and the people danced and feasted. In the end, the tree could not fight back anymore. None of its words would reach these people.
Eventually, the great tree soon grew stiff and creaky, and it too withered away, as its tree brethren once did long ago. The talking trees of this land were forever gone.
The people mourned and mourned. A decade past, and the mourning had ceased. A few more decades, and a fierce winter swept the land. To heat their homes, the once great tree was cut down and used for firewood. The people survived that winter.
More time passed, and the town grew to the size of a large city. The river, as the people discovered, lead to a great sea, and to other lands. The city expanded its port, and it became the center of trade and commerce. The people lived richly, and they used their wealth to its fullest extent. The great tree was long forgotten.
Then, a man discovered the ancient writings of old. The texts spoke of a great tree, the last of the talking great trees of the forest, as well as the people that lived around and worshipped that last great tree. The tome was sent to a museum, studied by scholars and historians alike. They published their findings, and ruins of old became ruins that were worth a lot. The people found their roots, and they loved it. They dramatized it with plays and novels. Even a day to celebrate their newfound culture was commissioned. Children wore masks of wood, and the people danced and feasted, just like their ancestors.
Over time the cultural celebration slowly turned into a day of rest and relaxation. Even then the story itself was never forgotten. The story of a young sapling and the world that went something like this:
There was once a young sapling that sprang up among other trees in a magical forest where trees could speak...