"Come, boy, come climb my trunk and have fun again!" she whispered.
"I am too old and sad to have fun," said the boy. "The world is not fun. I need a boat, to sail far away from here. Can you give me a boat?"
"A boat?" said the tree. She didn't know what to say. Only that morning there had been news of wildfires, and drought, and starvation, and beheadings, and mass extinctions, and a bunch of walruses with no ice left in the ocean for resting had come ashore in one giant tusky bawling mass.
"Were you saying something?" asked the boy, checking his stock listings on his smartphone. "Yeah, a boat. My life isn't all sunshine and butterflies and bears scratching their backs on me, like yours."
And the tree looked at him a long time. Then she sighed. "I wish I had not given you all my branches," she said. "Because now I cannot beat you violently with them like you deserve, you whiny little dickhead."