#8 Giving

Once there was a tree
And she loved a little boy

And every day
The boy would come
And he would gather her leaves
And make them into crowns
And play king of forest

He would climb up her trunk
And swing from her branches
And eat apples
And they would play hide-and-go seek

And when he was tired
He would sleep
In her shade
And the boy loved the tree very much

And the tree was happy

But time went by
And the boy grew older
And the tree was often alone

Then one day the boy came to the tree
And the tree said, "Come, boy, and climb up my trunk
And swing from my branches
And eat apples
And play in my shade
And be happy"

"I am too big to climb and play," said the boy
"I want to buy things and have fun
I want some money
Can you give me some money?"

"I'm sorry," said the tree
"But I have no money
I have only leaves and apples
Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in the city
Then you will have money
And you will be happy"

And so the boy climbed up the tree
And gathered her apples
And carried them away

And the tree was happy

But the boy stayed away for a long time
And the tree was sad

And then one day the boy came back
And the tree shook with joy
And she said, "Come, Boy, climb up my trunk
And swing from my branches
And be happy"

"I'm too busy to climb trees," said the boy
"I want a house to keep me warm," he said
"I want a wife and I want children
And so I need a house
Can you give me a house?"

"I have no house," said the tree
"The forest is my house
But you may cut off my branches
And build a house
Then you will be happy"

And so the boy cut off her branch
And carried them away to build his house

And the tree was happy

But the boy stayed away for a long time
And when he came back

The tree was so happy

She could hardly speak
"Come, Boy," she whispered
"Come and play"
"I am too old and sad to play," said the boy
"I want a boat that will take me far away from here
Can you give me a boat"

"Cut down my trunk
And make a boat," said the tree
"Then you can sail away
And be happy"

And so the boy cut down her trunk
And made a boat and sailed away

And the tree was happy

But not really
And after a long time
The boy came back again
"I am sorry, Boy," said the tree
"But I have nothing left to give you
My Apples are gone"

"My teeth are too weak for apples," said the boy

"My branches are gone," said the tree
"You cannot swing on them"

"I am too old to swing on branches," said the boy

"I am sorry," sighed the tree
"I wish I could give you something
But  I have nothing left
I am just an old stump
I am sorry"

"I don't need very much now," said the boy
"Just a quiet place to sit and rest
I am very tired"

"Well," said the tree
Straightening herself up as much as she could
"Well, and old stump is good for sitting and resting
Come, Boy, sit down
Sit down and rest"
And the boy did

And the tree was happy

-Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein

Such a receiving boy! Hope he's happy.

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