I'm trying to find a title of a short story by Ursula Le Guin (in some collection of short stories). The story was told (as it turns out) from the point of view of tree, which talks about moving (relativity of motion), sometimes in two directions at once (two people / riders passing by said tree). The story ends with car crashing into tree.

  • 1
    xkcd.com/1366 Commented May 9, 2014 at 13:56
  • but the xkcd one is about Einstein's train joke, not about an oak. I doubt the oak has ever heard of Einstein.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 13:15
  • @MrLister: both are (roughly) about relativity of motion. Commented May 10, 2014 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


It sounds like you’re looking for Direction of the Road.

I haven’t read it myself (yet), but I found a synopsis on Ekostories that sounds similar to the book you’re talking about:

Direction of the Road is a scant seven pages, told from the perspective of a large oak situated by the side of a road. Inspired by a real tree living beside Highway 18 near McMinnville in Oregon, the protagonist believes it has the power to grow and shrink in size in relation to other organisms. It diligently uses this power to “uphold Relativity with dignity and the skill of long practice”.

It was originally published as part of The Wind’s Twelve Quarters in 1975, then republished in The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories, Volume One: Where on Earth about two years ago.

  • This is the story where the tree messes up and ends up hitting a carload of teenagers? Commented May 9, 2014 at 15:45

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