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  1. If a palm tree falls in the beach, and only a boy is around to hear it, was the tree there at all? In a place of Madria, a little village near La Santísima Concepción, there lived a very wealthy family. They were known as the Monteros, despite the clear lack of mountains in their area, and lived in a grand house that stood stoicly behind their vast fields of cotton. The family had their fingers in so many pies, that it was wondered by their contemporaries if there was a single sinister plot or shady business deal that didn't have the name "Montero" written all over it. This total disregard for the human condition, their rather flexible view of morality, and their vast fields of cash crops allowed the Monteros to live a very affluent lifestyle. It was even rumored that even God's kingdom had less luxurious bathrooms than the ones that the Monteros had. Growing up as the youngest member of the family, but also the heir apparent of its wealth, was a certain Juan Montero. A boy so reckless, so rebellious, and so curious that his father often wondered whether Juan deserved the name Montero at all. In fact, during a fit of rage when the boy was just five years of age, Mr. Montero decided that the boy would have to earn his family name, and that from that point on he'd just be known in all matters as just "Juan", or to his mother, "Juanito". Juan was of course not going to stand for that, and deciding that the name "Montero" was lame anyway, decided that his new last name would be "Moral". It was Juan Moral who came across those faithful palm trees. Originally, they were three palm trees, all smushed so close together that it was hard to tell if they were all tree different trees, or just one tree with three trunks, like a palm hydra. Juan, while walking on the beaches one day, stumbled upon the curious looking structure and quickly approached it to get a keener look. He found the trees rather amusing and he began playing around with them, climbing them, jumping from one tree trunk to another, trying to get their coconuts, and pretending that the trees could speak and have conversations with each other. Juan would spend an entire afternoon there, away from his studies. However, all good things must come to an end, and some of their parents' slaves quickly found him and tried to get him to come back. Juan refused to leave the trees, preferring to sleep under their shade than in his own pompous bed. In order to get away from the prying hands of the slaves, Juan began to climb one of the palm trees higher and higher, right up to the top. It was at that point that the old tree could no longer support so much strees being placed on its trunk, and it quickly became too bent and broke open, releasing splinters into the air that fell upon the Montero slaves like a deadly, sharp rain that would send them straight to the doctor. Juan did not come out of this incident unscathed however, and would need bedrest for the better part of the month to fully recover. As a result, his father forbade him from ever returning to the sport, and also advised him to climb sturdier trees in the future. Of course, Juan wasn't going to take the orders from that tyrant, so he returned to the spot whenever he got the chance. Upon returning there, he found that luckily the tides nor storms had moved the third tree's former trunk too far, and Juan decided to bury it near its brother trees so that the still living trees wouldn't miss it too much. It took a full day of hard labor and a stolen shovel, but the log was successfully buried in a very salty, very watery, very sandy grave near its siblings. Juan even organized quite a beautiful funeral ceremony as well, in order to right the wrong done by his action and to live up to his adopted last name. "You were a good tree" Juan said tearfully. "Truly the best" would say one of the trees, "The bestest of the best!" would say the other. "You guys need to stop fighting, show some respect!" said young Juan, lecturing the trees as his own father would lecture him. "I know both of you are sad that he's gone. You don't however need to prove that one of you is more heartbroken than the other-- where is the sense in that? The situation remains a tragedy regardless. Y'all need to settle down" Juan said, patting both trees. "Of course, I'm sorry." would say one tree, "Of course, I'm sorrier" would say the other. "Truly it is futile to reason with you trees" said Juan, trying not to giggle during the third trees' funeral. After that rather distasteful affair, Juan did not return to trees for the while to give them some space to work out their issues. Or something, really trees can only be so fun. Until you throw a friend into the mix of course. OOC: This is a Mauridivian tale based off of the true stories of a kid called Juan Montero.
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