"The life of a tree is peaceful for the most part, but every now and then even plants wage war."
- Claudius Dogwood

The straights were dire, the future grim; a nest of termites had taken up residence on the side of the tree, and in time could kill it completely. For months now it had formulated its plan, carefully observing the termites and occasionally testing their defenses. The moment for decisive action had come, so with the aid of a strong gust of wind a gnarled branch the length of a forearm managed to finally dislodge itself. After being nearly broken off in a storm years before the branch thought it had become useless, but that had actually prepared it for this cunning plan. With a wooden vengeance it sailed down onto the termite nest, sinking into the top of it close to the trunk.

The nest did not dislodge, and the queen was swiftly pulled from her collapsed chambers; the termites breathed a collective sigh of relief. Little did they know, however, this was merely the first phase of the plan. With the structural stability of the nest below weakening, the branch began tilting outward, and finally toppled over onto the grass below, its thicker end covered in termites. It wasn't long before a large hawk nesting at the top of the tree spied the newly freed branch and thought it an excellent addition to its nest. The branch would've laughed if it could, and waited with glee as the bird descended to pick it up. Thanks to the expertly calculated angle, the branch had fallen in such a way that what looked like the middle to the hawk, was actually closer to the thin end.

This imbalance forced the bird to correct its flight several times, giving the branch just enough time for the next phase to occur. As the hawk was nearing its nest in the top of the tree, the termites finally reached its feet. Fearing the fall, the fools had climbed up the branch, biting in their rage the whole way, and had mistaken the bird's feet for wood; a costly error. The hawk dropped it in surprise, and the timing was perfect. Like the wrath of an angry god the branch soared down from the skies to land a second crushing blow to the termite's nest. The strike killed the queen instantly, and even managed to dislodge the nest entirely. The leaves of the tree waved in the wind to celebrate, and the branch joyously bounced a few feet away. Flipping end over end, it managed to lodge itself into some soft ground in front of the tree. Pride was clear on its bark, and it eagerly took on its newfound role of guardian, waiting patiently to defeat any who would threaten its tree.