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For a hundred years I breathe and live, the flower of beauty and the bread of kindness. I am your friendly shade in the noonday heat of summer, and I stand pencilled against the winter twilight, a silhouette for dreams. At dawning in the spring I am filled with song, the host to a thousand birds, and I decorate the autumn with pageantry and colour. Then comes the woodsman with his axe. And still I serve. I am the timber that builds your boat; the rafters of your cathedrals; the choirstalls of your church enriched by the magic of the carver's fingers. I am the beam that holds your house; the door of your homestead, and the lintel too. I am the handle of your hoe; the wood of your cradle; the bed on which you lie; the board of your table and the board for your bread. When I am living, harm me not. When I am dead, respect me and use me kindly.
-Anon., Testimony of the Tree