I don't talk to trees . . . honest. At least, I'd never admit to talking to them. But if I were the kind of girl who might find herself talking to an old oak tree on a chilly fall morning, asking why it's leave were falling off, and if that tree decided to answer me, this is the story the tree might have told me.
. . .
In the beginning, there was no earth. There was just the Tree and her Leaves floating in the middle of the sky like the head of a dandelion gone to seed. On the one side of the Tree was the Sun, and on the other were the Clouds. Because the Sun was much younger then, it could only keep part of the Tree warm, so it would rotate around The Tree, trying it's best to keep her and the Leaves warm.
Because the Clouds stayed on the other side of the Tree (they were much shier of the Sun then), they were very cold and only snow fell from them. The Tree would reach deep into the snow, drawing the icy crystals up through her trunk, and then (with the help of the Sun) melt it into