The drama in the growth of an oak tree -- a process spanning 300 hundred years -- is skillfully captured in this simple text, a winning combination of poetic prose and information. From a buried acorn, a stem, two leaves and a rootlet form, crushed by the weight of a deer, the oak tree gestates underground and then slowly begins to grow, giving shelter to countless animals, protection to the forest in time of flood. Its growth rings mark the years but in time the majestic tree begins its decline. Moisture weakens it until finally the strength of a storm sends it careening to earth. Yet even in death, it offers a home to many small animals.