Samuel Parhelion sat in the shade of his favorite tree, an old English Oak that stood in the middle of a park in Salem, Oregon. It was a nice day out, and he normally would have been quite content with the day. However, Sam was on a mission. You see, he is a member of a dangerously endangered species. He is what is generally known as a North American Long-Haired Hippie. The Hippies are a rare breed, and it is quite unusual to see one, let alone find one in its natural habitat, which, of course, is directly between a tree and a bulldozer. They never attack. In fact, they rarely lift a finger in an act of violence. It seems that such a peaceful creature would never have an enemy. However, this assumption is wrong. They are forever competing with the all-too-common Black-Hearted City Council Members for territory.

 “Now sir, I’m going to have to ask you move. Really Mr. Parhelion, it’s getting quite ridiculous. This has been going on for three days now, and if you don’t move, I’m going to have to have you arrested while we finish our business here.” Growled the Enemy, a scrawny middle aged man with a tailored suit and glasses. He sniffed and shifted his weight while he waited for Sam to answer.

 Sam was experienced with battling such enemies in ways that kept them away from his territory. Usually, other members of his pack would have come along, but as the years went and his kind were hunted and put on display and they had fallen apart, reduced to only a few families that remained close friends and dedicated to the furthering of their species. He wasn’t completely alone, he had a lovely mate, two female offspring, and several close friends, all of whom had joined him to help defend their home from these intruders. They were all very well equipped to handle such a situation and knew exactly how to defend themselves and this tree. Sam carefully calculated his reply so as to achieve the maximum effect and power he intended to convey.

“No.”

This was what his Enemy had come prepared for. He decided to simply wait until he gave in. He paced in front of the tree and Sam for several moments, ready to strike at any moment, his venomous mouth frothing with poisonous arguments and watching, waiting for some sign of weakness from his opponent, some faltering in his conviction that would allow him to overcome the old Hippie, destroy him and his precious tree.

 “Look around you old man, there’s no point in even trying. You can’t win! Face it, times have changed and left you behind, you’re nothing now. It’s you against an entire city. Just give up.”

Sam chuckled to himself. He had gone through this a hundred times before, and he had never lost a battle, no matter what kind of creature he fought against. His blue eyes glittered in the sunlight and his long, greying hair blew gently in the wind. His instinct told him that this wouldn’t last much longer, it would certainly be done before the day was over. The Hippie waited, hoped that soon the Enemy would give in. As he sat there, he thought of his family, his life. Lately, he had begun to realize that he was no longer young. His children had learned the ways of the world, and now it was his time to teach them how to survive. They were going to stay here as long as they possibly could because they were not about to learn how to just give in. They were going to learn how to fight for what they believed in, and to not give up. The old Hippie waited, surveyed the area for signs of a possible ambush.

That afternoon, the Council Member had sent his best cronies to push the Hippie families from their habitats, force them out of the trees and into the city. They argued together for hours, with not one creature more convincing than the others. Around sunset, a car drove into the parking lot near them. It was a small black car with a company logo and the name “Really Convenient Coincidence Co.” on it in a white sticker. A young man came running out and shoved a paper into the enemies’ face.

“Sir, sir, you must stop this at once!!”

 “What? No, no, you are surely mistaken! I am no fool, I know what I am doing!”

“No sir, you don’t understand, this area has been preserved for these people!” The young man gasped.

 It was true. Just when they had lost all hope, the hippies had been saved by a legislature meeting that had declared all unclaimed and government territories in and near the cities officially preserved for the good of the endangered Hippie population. It is in these areas now that they lurk, free from the persecution of the man, able to sing and dance about as often as they like, and now with the ability to practice all the free love that they enjoy so much.

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