Once upon a time, there was a little puppy. One morning the puppy woke up, took a big stretch with a satisfying yawn, and started to walk. With each step that the puppy took he felt a sense of freedom and joy. Step led to step which led to another step, and soon those steps came faster and faster. The puppy began to trot and then to lope until finally, he was running to his heart's content.

The world rushed by as the puppy’s ears flopped up and down. The wind in his eyes and the ground beneath his feet felt right and good. Then, suddenly, one of the puppy’s paws snagged beneath him causing him to tumble and roll to a halt.

Picking himself up and shaking himself off he searched for an explanation of his jarring stop. Then he saw it, lying in the center of the clearing where he had been running was a large old root. The puppy, full of exuberant energy, spoke. “Why did you snatch my foot away from me? You stopped my running Old Root!”

The Old Root replied, “How selfishly you accuse me, Puppy. I was here toiling away at my work when suddenly your paw struck me! Why did you strike me?”

“I didn't know that you were working there, Old Root. Why are you lying there working in the dirt? That seems like no fun at all! I'm sure that my running is a better thing than your working.”

Sternly, the Old Root replied. “You assume too much, little Puppy, and you speak of what you do not know. I work here turning the soil and drinking the water because this is where the Great Tree sent me to work. I choose to work hard and dig deep, but I do not choose where or how I work. I serve the Great Tree. Because of my hard work, the Great Tree is tall, and strong, and broad. Did you say that I interrupted your running? Why are you running? And what did I interrupt?”

The puppy was confused by both the replies and the questions. But then the Puppy had a thought. “Maybe it doesn't matter that I stopped running and you stopped working, gnarly Old Root. Perhaps you and I can be friends! We can play together!”

“Once again, Puppy, you presume too much. I cannot and I will not play with you. It would not be right. What I do here is important. I know why I work all day, but do you know why you play?”

With that final question, the Puppy realized that the Old Root was boring. He gave the Root a smile, as he did not know what to say. Then the Puppy turned and began to run once more. The Root fell silent as he always had been and we can only presume returned to his work.

Some fail to understand others, while some choose not to.