PAIN! What was causing the pain?Concentrating on the source of the pain, it finally came fully awake which was the very moment it felt the pain stop. It breathed again.
Sensing the world around, it remembered how wonderful the sights, sounds and smells of the forest were. Hearing the sound of the wind and the birds in the trees was like being born again. It looked out of the crack in the ancient tree where it had sheltered itself those many years ago and saw something else. Two animals were standing beside its sanctuary. They were familiar but different than it had remembered humans.
In the deep dark of the forest it slumbered, for thousands of years lying beyond consciousness, beyond the world of the night and day, where the mortal creatures lived and died in the blink of an eye. It stirred and began to think. As its ancient consciousness slowly came to life, it began to ask questions. How long have I slumbered? Why did I go to sleep in the first place? It knew it had a purpose, so why had it abandoned its purpose?
As the moments of time ticked away, it started to remember why. It had fallen asleep because it was no longer needed. Its purpose had been fulfilled for the time being so it decided to rest and save its energy for the next time it was needed. So why was it awakening now? What had disturbed its peace after all these years?
PAIN! Pain the likes of which it hadn't felt since the wars of ancient battles from a time when the earth was young. Victory after victory flashed through its mind because it had never lost, and once unleashed, it never stopped. Not until its job was finished. Not until all enemies were vanquished - but now it had been disturbed again.
These humans were not the humans to which it was accustomed. Those humans were one with nature. They took from the land as any other creatures and gave back to the land as they perished. Their carcasses fed the other animals or decomposed into nutrients to feed the plants. But these humans were different. It had a feeling these humans were takers not givers, they wore strange clothing and had tools that produced noxious gasses. Though it had the ability to understand all creatures, they spoke in strange tongues.
"Why'd you stop drilling, Joe?"
"This tree is hard as iron. I gotta let my drill cool down a bit."
"Hurry up. You know we aren't supposed to be in this forest, and I don't want to get caught."
"Get off my back, Frank. You know as well as I do, this tree is worth a fortune."
"A fortune we can't spend from a prison cell. We don't even know what kind of a tree it is."
"It's a hardwood. Shoot, that smoking drill can tell you that much, and if we don't know what it is then you can bet your bottom dollar that it is rare. You know how much we can get on the black market for a tree this size, let alone one that's rare?"
"How we gonna get it out of the forest anyway, Frank?"
"One step at a time. First, we get the core sample and a few of these leaves to identify it. Then we figure out the rest, so get drilling."
It watched as one of the humans picked up the smoking tool and placed it near the foot of the ancient tree. The tool emitted a shrieking sound as the pain again lanced through its body. It remembered its purpose. It remembered why it was created in the first place. TO PROTECT! Lashing out with lightning speed it did its job and did it well. The smoking tool cast aside at the base of the ancient tree they had defiled was the only trace that two humans were ever there ...