c 1990 By Tom Bopp 

     Long ago, there was a time when Oaks could walk and talk, and people couldn't, so some pioneering Oaks went forth and discovered a little valley and there they started a town. Because of the many people growing there, they named it Peoplehurst. 
     Peoplehurst was rural and picturesque. Its hills and meadows were, at that time, abundant with ancient and majestic people that would sway in the breeze, change color in the fall, and provide shade from the summer sun. 
     The Oaks needed room for their town, so they began by clearing out some of the people and, in the interests of conservation, recycling them as fertilizer. Then, first things being first, the Oaks set up a saloon, and then a church, and then a graveyard. 
     The saloon was a sort of outdoor arboretum, where you could get anything from a straight shot of B-1 to several expensive strains of vintage peat. 

     The church was by the river, and was used mainly for weddings, funerals, and to celebrate Sprucemas. According to local oaklore, Sprucemas commemorated the birth of a very wise and venerated spruce that had lived many years ago. So, every year around Sprucemas, the Peoplehurst Chamber of Commerce would find one of the largest, prettiest people, harvest it and erect it in the middle of town. Nobody remembered quite why they did this, but somehow the sight of a fully lighted and decorated Sprucemas-person would always impart feelings of warmth and good will. 
     The graveyard took up acres and acres of land, and required the clearing of thousands of people, so the Oaks organized a large fertilizer plant, giving the economy and employment a big boost. This brought more Oaks to Peoplehurst, and more clearing. They built a hospital, the People Plaza shopping center, an airport--everywhere you turned to look, there was new construction. This kept the fertilizer plant busy: trucks laden with raw material would creep in, and empty ones would zip out, while countless tons of Peoplehurst's Finest shipped out to the far reaches of the globe. 
      There began to be a problem, though. "People depletion" was the big topic at the saloon. Business development had taken its toll on the pretty people that once graced the commercial district, and the whole thing started to get embarrassing. The Chamber of Commerce instituted a "Save the People" project, and the remaining people were supplied with all the proper foods and amenities, even clothing and television sets, but nothing seemed to work. One by one, the people died. A few ended up on display in the largely ignored Peoplehurst museum, and the rest became fertilizer. 
     Decades rolled by, and the ambitious Oaks finally achieved their goal of not having to do anything or go anywhere, and became dull, uninterested, and complacent. So complacent, in fact, that they stopped moving at all, and just stood still and didn't talk anymore. 
     Then came a time when People could walk and talk, and oaks couldn't, so some pioneering People went forth and discovered a little valley and there they started a town. Because of the many oaks growing there, they named it Oakhurst.