One winter, a tree, a brook, and a cloud were having a conversation about who had the hardest time in winter.
The tree said, “Trees have it the hardest. It starts in autumn, when we lose our clothes. Then the winter comes hard on our bare branches; the birds, our friends, all leave; and, to top it off, when the humans get cold, they come and sacrifice us to the fire just for a few moments sadistic warmth.”
The brook said, “I think we brooks, streams, and rivers have it the hardest. While the trees lose their leaves, they still blow in the breeze; we, on the other hand, get frozen solid in this kind of cold, unable to move except a little bit, way below the surface. Then, after they get done skating all over us, the humans come with picks and chop us up to take home and put in their drinks.”
Then the cloud said, “All of that is true. We clouds can still move in the winter, unlike brooks, and we keep all our clothes, unlike trees. On top of that, we maintain our friends, unlike both of you. What winter does to us, though, is rip our insides out, and spread them all over the ground, for us, and everyone else to see. That is a reason that they call the process… a depression.”