Twelve years ago, an old gardener decided to plant two seedling bonsai trees in the same container. . . .
At once, the two seedlings found one another, wrapping their leaves together, entwining until their very beings grew as one. It was beautiful really, how the two became as a mangrove, even their roots wrapping together in places no one else could see.
The gardener perceiving their unified strength, gently transplanted them into some fertile soil outside. At first they braved many storms, growing closer all the while. But then as years passed, something changed. It was subtle, maybe even so slow neither bonsai felt it at first . . . still, change they did.
One bonsai grew stronger, slightly overpowering the other with sadness and anger. The smaller bonsai tried to be strong, doing everything . . . anything. But slowly, the smaller bonsai began losing strength. And the bigger bonsai, unhappy in its own way, lost strength as well.
The leaves browned. Their bark no longer had a healthy feel. They were dry . . . dying.
And so, the old gardener, after watching their demise, decided to pull the two trees apart. But he had to cut so much that by the time he'd untangled roots and branches, there was hardly anything left of either tree.
He set them in separate containers, on opposite windowsills in his quaint little house.
As the months passed, both trees grew. The smaller bonsai, stretched and strained. The larger bonsai, leaned toward the sun, reveling in the solitude. And as summer came, both trees began to blossom. And for the first time, both trees saw each other for what they were: The smaller bonsai had orange blossoms. The larger bonsai had a thick trunk and reddish leaves.
As the two bonsais felt each other across the room, they were no longer saddened, angry, or fearful, instead they saw the facts for what they were: they'd been two different breeds, and if you know anything about bonsais, it's that the only kinds that should be in the same container are those of the same breed.