Beware the White Ants
Once upon a time there was a tree that lived in the forest. He wasn’t an extra special tree but he had always done his best to do the things that trees do. He was generally well respected by those around him where their fields of endeavour touched. He was a very lucky tree because he had three lovely suckers growing beside him and he was able to shelter and guide them as they developed. Life was indeed very pleasant for this tree in his patch of forest.
But then, one day, out of a patch of blue sky, he was struck by lightning.
This event changed his whole being. He could no longer do any of the tree things that he grew up doing. He felt lost and alone as he struggled to be other than firewood for some lonely fire. At this time, the suckers and his friends around him sheltered him until he was able to shoot again.
He didn’t have the strength to do the things that he had enjoyed before but he gradually found other ways where he could make a contribution to the forest. He also found other ways to enjoy himself and found that he was still needed now and then to guide the suckers. Life was again beginning to be full for our tree.
During this time, the tree was often inspected by the foresters to check on the damage done by the lightning. They made sure that any repairs that could be done were effected when necessary. This went well until, one day, the tree asked a forester to check and see if there might not be the chance of any white ants doing any damage. This was done and the tree found that not only were the white ants present but that they were indeed doing considerable damage. This state came about because the tree, the foresters and all of the other trees about him had only been concentrating on the lightning damage. If a simple sap test had been done earlier, the white ant problems could probably have been avoided.
The moral for this is that all older trees should have a sap test to check for white ants, even the ones that have been struck by lightning. For anyone that doesn’t get out into the forest and doesn’t know any trees, they might know a man that has reached 50 and hasn’t yet had a blood test to check for prostate problems. This could be a good suggestion, even for someone that has a serious disability or other major health problem.