There once was a tree that lived on the banks of the Russian River. Rooty, the tree, had lived along the river his whole life. The river, Flo as most people called her, lapped against Rooty time after time.
The story starts with Rooty enjoying another day of life. Everything was normal until he started to feel an emptiness inside. He felt that life itself was going out of him. In truth, it actually was! Flo was slowly leaving him. Rooty needed something to fill the empty space inside of him, so he quickly glanced around to see what he could find. Luckily for him, there was dirt very close by. At first Rooty was very skeptical about using dirt instead of Flo. The dirt, also known by close friends as Mud, wanted Rooty’s company. Mud assured Rooty that there were plenty of nutrients to go around. There were some kinks to Mud’s plan that Rooty didn’t know about, though.
Mud started to drag Rooty further and further away from Flo. Rooty’s roots started to grow up towards the surface of the ground instead of going down towards Flo. On the flip side, Mud liked all of the attention. Mud started planting rumors in Rooty’s branches, and Rooty believed that he didn’t need Flo in his life.
Throughout this whole time, Flo didn’t really go anywhere. She did move up and down with the tide, but was usually consistent and loyal to Rooty. Rooty lost sight of Flo to the point where he forgot about her.
One morning Rooty woke up and had the same empty feeling he had when he felt that Flo left him. Mud was starting to dry up because she didn’t have all the nutrients to keep herself alive, much less Rooty. Unbenounced to her, she also needed Flo. Mud started to get weaker and weaker until her voice started to fade.
“Oh Rooty, I’m sure this is temporary. We all have our good days and bad days. I’m sure this will pass just like everything else,” Mud said to Rooty.
“I’m not so sure anymore Mud. I don’t think you can support me. I’m trying to remember my life before you! There was something else I depended on,” Rooty informed Mud.
“There was nothing before me, and there will be nothing but dirt after me! All your nutrients flow from me to you,” concluded Mud.
“Flow….Flow….Flow…. I’ve heard that name before. Why does that sound so familiar?” Rooty questioned.
Then it hit him like a knife, digging into his bark to carve the initials of two lovebirds. Life before Mud involved Flo, and Rooty started to remember all that Flo had done for him. He started to hear Flo’s voice again. Flo seemed so far out of reach, but she was always close to Rooty. Rooty felt that he was being pulled in two different directions because Mud was gaining strength again. Now Rooty was smarter, and he knew that only Flo could keep him alive. So Flo coaxed, Rooty reached, and Mud slowly lost strength. Flo and Rooty linked together once again to create a never ending bond.
Every bright and sunny morning after that, whenever you walked along the Russian River, you could look over at Flo and Rooty. Rooty was finally rooted to a someone who could truly support him.