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In the story called Miss Hickory, by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, Miss Hickory is made of an apple twig, and has a nut for a head. It may come as no surprise that, being a piece of wood, she is inflexible, and learning to be otherwise is not easy for her. This detail impacts her relationship with other characters.
The relationship between Miss Hickory and Squirrel is something of a tug of war. She is uncertain as to whether or not she can have a meaningful relationship with him, and I think this creates a dilemma for her: can they be friends or is it impossible—figuratively, she is torn. Squirrel is neither caring nor giving, and he is irresponsible.
Squirrel, as one would expect, collects nuts for the winter so that he can eat during the harsh and freezing months ahead. There is obviously an enormous stumbling blowck between Miss Hickory and Squirrel as she has the head of a nut, and Squirrel just happens to be hunting for nuts. While Miss Hickory wants to be Squirrel's friend, and, remember, she is trying to be a better "person," she cannot get past the fact that when looking at Miss Hickory's head, Squirrel may well be planning his next meal. In light of this fear, the opportunity of a friendship, however slim, falls by the wayside. This is not a circumstance Miss Hickory can overlook.
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