Once upon a time, in a small town nestled among rolling hills, there was a fire hydrant who stood proudly on the corner of Main Street. He had been there for as long as anyone could remember, and he had always been ready to provide a much-needed source of water in case of a fire.
But despite his important role, the fire hydrant often felt underappreciated. Day after day, he stood on the sidewalk, exposed to the elements, while people walked by without even a second glance. Dogs would even come up and lift their leg to pee on him, and the fire hydrant could do nothing but stand there and take it.
Every once in a blue moon, the humans would need something from the fire hydrant. They would rush over, rough and demanding, and demand all of his water. And when they were done, they would simply walk away, leaving the fire hydrant drained and alone.
The fire hydrant was tired of being taken for granted, and one day, when the firefighters came rushing over to put out a raging fire, he decided he had had enough. As the firefighters frantically tried to attach the hoses to his spout, the fire hydrant refused to release any water.
The fire raged on, and the firefighters grew more and more desperate. Some of them shouted at the fire hydrant in frustration, while others kicked him in anger. But then, one of the firefighters approached the fire hydrant with a different approach.
He knelt down beside the fire hydrant and gave him a hug. “I’m sorry for the way we’ve treated you,” he said. “If you help us one more time, I’ll make sure you get the appreciation you deserve.”
The fire hydrant was touched by the firefighter’s words, and he knew he had to help. With renewed energy, he released a powerful stream of water that helped the firefighters bring the fire under control.
After the fire was finally extinguished, all of the firefighters gathered around the fire hydrant and hugged him one by one. And the next day, they returned with a plaque that read “In Recognition of Your Valuable Service.” From then on, whenever people passed by the fire hydrant, they would stop to pet him and speak words of admiration.
The fire hydrant was finally getting the appreciation he deserved, and he knew that he would always be there, ready to serve.