A long time ago, a man named Tee lived in New York City. He was like every other man in the whole world except that a forest grew on his face. Living in temperate America, the trees in his forest were all conifers. They were thin, tall coniferous trees that grew down his face towards the Adam’s apple forming an incredible upside down valley.
Unlike tropical trees that spread their gregarious, friendly arms wide, conifers grow single-mindedly tall as if to meet the sun. From a distance, all the trees in Tee’s forest gave the impression of a velvety beard. But when you took a closer look, you would see that all the trees with their prickly leaves believed strongly in choice and grew in all directions you could imagine- North South East West and more!
The velvet forest wasn’t clean either. Since Tee ate at least three times a day, the forest was littered with breadcrumb rocks, spinach graffitti, rice twigs and chip shrubs. And since he drank coffee at least twice a day, it rained black drops of strong coffee on the unsuspecting terrain. Such were the days and nights in Tee’s forest.
Every other month or so, a razor-sharp plague would come to haunt. A plague so sudden and deadly that the next morning Tee would wake up to a cleared forest, only stumps reminding him of the marvel that grew on his face the night before. Tee always took consolation in the fact that the forest would grow back. It was the law of nature. With every passing day the stubs would grow a teeny-weeny bit and before you knew it, the forest would be a menacing presence again.
Always a stickler for decorum, Nature had other plans, this time around.
So the next time the plague shaved the forest clean, it did not grow back. Tee waited—confidently for the first week, optimistically for the next and hopefully for a third. When the forest showed no signs of growing back, he began to worry. As he wondered what could have gone wrong he looked around him to take in the plight of the forests on other faces. Wait a minute!
Those were not forests. Other faces had gardens—trimmed and groomed gardens where not a single tree grew out of line. There was no coffee rain or other garbage on the garden floor. Some faces grew grass into manicured lawns. Others grew raised beds of uniform plants. The swankier ones had fences with identical sycamore twins on either side. The spiritual ones groomed their garden into ethereal cascades.
The air of grace around the gardens had taught him the folly of his forest. When he woke up the next day, he was in for a surprise! The stubs had grown a teeny-weeny bit. Tee jumped with joy and promised to groom himself every week. The next Monday, true to his promise, Tee stood before his bathroom mirror, talking dearly to his erstwhile forest and trimming them down beautifully.