I do love this story as a beginning lesson in ethics. We talk often about how ethics are not always black and white (although that is the representation on the icon for this concept)--there is often grey area. And 2 people may believe 2 different things to be true and neither of them is necessarily wrong. We read the story and I asked my students to write about who was right and who was wrong in this situation. This is what they came up with:
It is wrong because it's hurting the tree.