SHERIDAN, WY—Lowering his expectations in an effort to avoid disappointment, rookie forest ranger TJ Hayward told reporters Friday that he was not getting his hopes up about seeing a tree on his first day of work. “If it happens, that would be great, but I’m not going to hold my breath for a lodgepole pine on day one,” said Hayward, noting that one of his colleagues who has already been there over six months hasn’t seen even a single spruce or fir yet. “Of course I’d love to come across a majestic aspen in the wild, but I know it could be years before that happens, if it happens at all. I’ll just keep an eye out for any tree droppings that I may notice on the trails. I know that if I see a squirrel, there’s probably a tree nearby.” At press time, Hayward was speechless and on the verge of tears after stumbling upon a beautiful, towering wooden utility pole.


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