This holiday weekend we'd like to share with you this lovely story written by our team member Alena Happyfrogfromalaska. Please enjoy!
Snowflakes spun delicately through the frigid morning air to settle gently on the frozen earth.
“Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming!” the Magpies squawked, and flapped their wings in joy as the sun rose on a crystal clear winter day.
Young fir trees asked the noisy birds to come and shake the snow from their branches. It was that time of year when folks came to the forest in search of the “perfect” tree to brighten their homes for the holiday season. The trees wanted to look their best, for it was every fir’s dream to be strung with lights and ornaments to help happy families celebrate this special time of year.
As people tromped by, every fir tree rustled hopefully, "Choose me, choose me!”
However, there was one young fir tree named Stick that did not pay much attention to festive bustle; the holiday season only made her feel alone and depressed. She was a spindly, crooked tree that even the birds ignored. And, every year, Stick heard the same from the people who passed by: "Ouch, let’s find another tree! This one is not very pretty!"
Therefore, fir tree Stick did not ask the birds to shake the snow off her skinny branches. But she was a tree with a good heart, and was very happy when a family chose one of her sisters, and heard her rustle her limbs in saying, "Success! Success"!
* * *
“Dad, when will we go for our Christmas Tree? It is December, 20 already!” the children exclaimed to their father.
Patrice understood that this year buying a tree from a store would not be enough. He had promised his sons long ago that one year they would harvest a Christmas tree from the forest, and this was to be that year! A hike had been set for beginning of month, but the adventure was constantly put aside for different reasons.
“Okay, let’s do it today, guys!”
“Today! Today! Today!” Jackson and Josh said together and began to jump and clap their hands in excitement.
“Yes, today!” Mom said with a smile. “Put on your boots and warm jackets! It is cold today!”
When they stopped in the Nationa Forest, the car’s thermometer showed it was down to -5F outside.
“It is too cold, Mom! It is too cold, Dad!” complained the boys, who started shaking after getting out of the warm car.
“Common, guys! It is our big Christmas adventure! We’ll find a wonderful tree and we’ll drink hot chocolate, it will be fun! Let’s go! Moving will keep you warm!”
Before long, they came to an area with one lone fir-tree surrounded by several stumps.
“Dad, look! It is a place where people cut their Christmas trees before us!”
“Yes, it sure looks that way. Maybe we should to a little farther.”
“Dad, I’m cold!” Jackson cried.
“Dad, I’m cold too” Josh repeated his brother’s words.
“Honey, it really is cold! I’m getting chilled, too! Let’s cut that little tree and go home,” Darlene said as she hugged her boys close.
“Well….if you insist, it is fine with me!”
* * *
Stick” saw the four people just standing there.
“Why are they here? Why are they looking at me? What are they going to do?” she wondered hesitantly.
Then she began to shake uncontrollably when the tall man removed his pack and withdrew a handsaw.
“Could this really be happening?” she asked as the man walked toward her.
The man told his boys to stand back as he began to saw through her slender trunk near her base. Stick trembled in joy as she slowly fell into the soft blanket of snow.
Then the two boys happily lifted Stick in their warm, gloved hands and began to walk back in the direction from which they had come. As she left the area where she had spent her whole life, she heard all of the mature fir trees rustle their approval and happiness that little Stick had finally found a loving family to honor her during this most blessed of seasons!