Press enter after choosing selection

The Fir Tree

The Fir Tree image The Fir Tree image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Far down in the forest, where the warm sim and the fresh air made a sweet resting place, grew a pretty little fir tree; and yet it was not, happy, it wished so much to be tali like its companions, the pines and firs which grew around it. The sun shone and the soft air fluttered its leaves, and the little peasant childreu passed by prattling merrily, but the fir tree heeded them not. Aa it grew it eoraplained, "Oh! how I wish I were as tall as the other trees, then I would spread out my branches on every side and my top would overloolc tho nido world. I should liave the birds building their nests on my boughs, and when tho wind blew I should bow with stately dignity like my tall companions." Two winters passed. In ihe nutumii, as usuaJ, the woodcutters camo and cut down severa! of the tallest trees, and the young fir tree, whieli was now grown to its i full beisht, tbuddered as tho noblo trees feil totheearth with a crash. Af ter the branches were lopped off, the trunks lookc-i so slender and bare that they could scarcely be recognized. Then they were placed upon wagons and drawn by horses out of the forest. "Where were thev going? What would become of tbemf" The young flr tree wished very much to know. So in the spring, whea the swallows and the stoiks came, it asked, "Do you know where those trees were taken! Did you meet themi" The swallows knew nothing; but the stork, after a little reflection, nodded bis head and said, "Yes, I think I do. I met several new ships when I flew froni Egypt, and they haA i fine masts that smelt like fir. I think the must have been the trees; I assure yon thef were stately, very stately." "Oh, how I wish 1 were tall enough to g on the sea.'' said the fir tree. "What Í3 thi sea and what does it look like?" "It would take too much time to explain," said the stork, flying quickly away. "Rejoiee in t'.iy youth," said the sunbeanv; "rejoice ia thy fresh growth and the young lifethat is in thee." And the wind kissed the tree and the dew watered it with tears, but the fir tree regarded thera not. Christmas time drew near and many young trees were cut down, somo even smaller and younger than the fir tree, who enjoyed neither rest nor peace with longing to leare its forest home. These young trees, whicli were chosen for their beauty, kept tbelr branches and were also laid on wagons and drawn by horses out of the forest. 'Where aru they goiusr'asked the fir tree. "They are not taller than I am; lude d oneü much loss ; and v, hy are the branches not cut off! Where are they going?" "We know, we know," sang the sparrows. "We have looked in at tl Windows of the houses in the town, and wa know what s don.! i with tLe:n. They are ' dressedupinthemost sp.endid marmer. We haveseen themstauding in tha middlo of a worm room, and adoriioil with alisorts of beauWul things- lioney cal;cs, güded apjiles, jilaytliings, and many huiidred of wax tapcrs." "Aud then," asked the fir tree, trombling through all its branches, "aud then vrhat happensf' "We did not see any inore," eanl tue sjtarrows; "but this was enough for us." "I wonder whether anything so brilliant ■will ever happen to ino," thou-ht the fir tree. Rejoicc uith us," said the air and tho snnlight. "Enjoy thine own brisht üfo in fresh air." But the tree would not rejoice, though it grew taller every day, and winter aud mer its dark green foliage might be seen in thfiforest, while passers by would say, "What beantif ui tree !" A short time before Christmas the discoutented fir tree was the ftrst to fall. As the ax cut through the stem and divided the pith the tree feil with a groan to the earth, conscious of pain and faintness, and l'orgetting all its antieipations of happincss, in sorrow at leaving its home in the forest. It knew that it should never again seeitsdear old companions, the trees, nor the little bnshes and many colored flowers th had grown by its side; perhaps not even the birds. Néitlur was tho journey at all pleasnt. The tree first recovered itself while beiug unpacked in the courtyard of a house, with severa 1 other trees; and it heard a man say, "We ooly want one, and this is the prettiest." Theiifanutvvosf-rvantsin grand livery and carried the ñv tree into a large and beautiful apartment. On the waüs hung pictures, and near the great store stood great china vases, with lions on the lids. There were rocking chairs, silken sofas, large tables, covered with pictures, booksand playthiugs, worth a great deal of money- at least the ohilclreu said so. Then the fir tree was placed in a large tub, Xullof sand; but green bajzebung all round it, so that no one could see it was a tub, and it stood on a very handsome earpet. How theflr tree trembled! "What was going to happen to kim now?" Sorae ladies canie, and the servante belped thcm to arlom the tree. On one brancb tbey Imng little bags cut out of colorcd paper, and each bag was fil'ed with sweetmeats; i'rora other branches huns gilded apples and walnuts, as if they had grown tbere; and above, and all round, were hundreds of red, blue and white tapers, which were fastened on the branches. Dolls, exactly like real babies, wero placed UDder the green leaves- the tree had never reen such tuings before - and at the vcry top was fastened a glittering star, made of tinsel. Oh, it was very beautiful! Atlast the tapers were liglited, and then what a glistening blaze of light tbe tree presented! And now the foiding doors were thrown open, and a troop of clnldren rushed in as if they mtended to upset the tree; thev were followed more slowly by their elders. For a monieut the little ones stood silent with astoiiishment, and then tbey shouted for joy, till the i-oom rang, and they daoced merrily round fhe tree, whil3 ono present after anothcr was taken trom it. "What are they doin- í What wül hap pen nextf tiioughtthe til1. At last the eandles trarnt down to the brancbps and were put out. TLeu thechildren r eceiv&l permissicn to plunder the tree. Oh, hoT tliey mshed upou it, till thebrancUes rareckd,and liad it not heen fasteuetl v ih theglistening si ar tot be oeiling, it mustliave heen thrown down. The children then danced about with their pretty toys, and no one notlced the tree, exeept the children's maid, who eame and peeped among the branches to e if an apple or a flg had been f orgotten. -A story, u story," cried the children, puiling a, üttle fa! man toward the tree. "Now we shall be in the green shade," said the man, as he seated himself nader it, "and the tree will have the pleasure of hearing also, bilt I shall only relate one st orv ; what fchall it be? Irede-Avede, or Humpty Dumpty, who feil down stairs, hut soon got up again, and at last married a prineeH." "Ivede-Avcdc," eried SOtoe. "Humpty Dumpty," cried others, and there waa a fine fchouting and crying out. But the ür tree remained quite still, and thought 10 himself, "Shall I liave anythiug to do with all this?" buthe lmd already amused tbem as muchas they wished. ïhen the old man told them the story .f Humpty Dumpty, Ikjw he feil down Btairg, and waa raised up again, and married 1 prinoesg. And the children clapped their hands and cried, "Teil another, teil another," f or they wauted to hear the story of "Ivede-Avede;"' but they only had "Humpty Dumpty. ' After this the fl'r tree became quite silcnt and thoughtful: never had tha birds in t he forest told such tales ;is " Humpty Dumpty,"' who feil down stairs, nnd yet married a priucess. "Ah! yes, so it happens in the world," thought the fir tree; he believed it all, be-ause it was related by a such a nice man. "Ah! well," he thought, "who knows perhaps I may fall down too, and marry a princeps;' and he looked forwaid joyfully to the nest, evening, expecting to le again decked out with lights and playthings, gold and fruit. "To-morrow I will not tremble," thought he: "I will enjoy all tny splendor, and I shall hear the story of Humpty Dumpty again, and prrhaps Ivede-Arede." And the tree remainoil quiet and thoughtful all night. In themorning tho servante and the houseraaid came in. "Now," thought the fir, "all my splendor is going to begin again." But they drag-cd him out of the room and upetairs to the garret, and threw him on the floor, in a dark corner, whero 110 daylight hone, and there they left him. 'What does this meani" thought the tree. 'What am I todo hert'? I can hear nothing In a place like this,'' and he leant against the wall, and thought and thought. And ho had time enough to tuink, for days and cights passed and no one came near him, and when at last somebody ditl come, it was only to put away lrge boxe in a corner. So the tree was completely hielden from sight as if it had never existo!. "It is winter, now," thought the tree, "the ground is hard aud covered with snow, so that pcople cannot plant me. I shall bo sheltered here, I daresay, untü spring con' "Squeak, squeak," said a little mouse, creeping cautiously towards the tree; then c-ame another, and they both sniffed at the fir tree and crept between the branches. "Oh, it is very cold," said the little mouse, or else we should be so comfortablo here soonldn't we, you old fir tree?' "I ara not old," said the fir tref, "there are many who are older than I am." "Where do you come from, and what do joi. '-no-.-. :" asked the mice, who were full oí curiosity. '-Have you seen the most beautliul place in the world, and can you teil us all about them? aud havo you been in tho storeroom, where checses lie on the thelf, and hams from the ceiling? Ono eau rua about on tallow candles, there, and go in thin nd come out fat." 'I kt..-.v nxbing of that place," said th jpric '-but I Lüott the woodjvhere the sua shines and the birds sing." And then the tree told the üttle mice all about its youth. They had uerer heard such an account in their lives; and after they had listeued to i attentively, they said: "What a number of things you liave seen ! you must have been very happy. " One morning people carne to olear out the garret, the lioxes were packed away, and the tree was pulled out of the corner, anc thrown roughly or tho garrei floor; then the servantdraggec it out upon the staircase where the daylignt shone. "N o w lif o is beginning again," eaid the tree, rejoicing in the sunshiue and fresh air. Tben it was carried downstairs and taken into the courtj anl so quickly that it forgot to think of itself, and could only look about, there was so much to be seen. Tbe eourt was close to a garden, where everything looked blooming. Fresh and fragrant roses hung over the little palings. The linden trees were in blossom; while the suallows flew here and there, crying: "Twit, twit, twit, my mate is coming," but it was not the flr tree they meant. "Now I shall live," cried the tree, joyfully, spreading out lte branches; but, alas! they were all withered and yellow, and it lay in a corner amongst wee;ls and netties. Tbe star of gold paper still stuck hl the top of the tree, and glittered iti the suushine. In the same eourtyard two of the merry childreu were playing who had ilanred round the tree at Christmas, and had been so happy. The youngest saw the gilded rtar, and ran and pulled it off the tree. "Look what is sticking to the ugly old flr tree," said the child treading on the branches til] tliey crackled under bis boots. And the tree saw all the fresli, bright flowers in the garden, and then looked at itselí and wished ifc had remained in tbe dark corner of the garret. Then a lad ca me and cbopped the tree into small pieees, t ill a large bundlo lay in a heap onthegrouud. The pieees were placed in a flre under the copper, and they quickly blazed up hrightly, wbile the tree sighed bo deeply that eaeh xigii was like a little pistol shot. Tlien the children, who were at plav, carne and seated themselves in front of the fire, and lotked at it, and cried, "Pop, pop." But at eaeh "pop," which was a deep sigh, the tree was thinking of a sumnier day in the forest or of some winter night there, wben the stars shone brightly, and of Christmas evening. Now all was past; the tree's Ufe was past, and tbe story also- for all stories


Old News
Ann Arbor Register