Two apples on a tree...
There were two apples on a tree, in an orchard in a non-remarkable part of England. One was pale green, and quite small, about the size of a golf ball. The second was bright green with a gentle wash of pink on one side, the size and shape you would expect of such an apple.
They were friends, and the only two left on the tree. One summer morning they were talking, and as is often the case with apple conversations, the mood deepened and there was tangible sadness in the air.
"I know that I shouldn't be sad," the smaller apple said quietly, "but I can't help it."
"If you are sad for me," the larger apple replied, "then you shouldn't be."
The small apple thought of a dozen things to say, but they remained as thoughts and died quietly in the warmth of the morning. The small apple knew that his companion would soon be picked and eaten, and this touched him sharply. What use is there in being big and beautiful if it means you will die sooner?
In the long months of the autum, alone and unchanged, the smaller apple hung to it's branchlet and thought about how transient and maudlin life was for the choicest apples. But in all that time, the small apple never considered that the sadness, the transience and the pain was all its own.