The Little Tree- a parable


There once was a small tree, the indoor variety which dreamed of going outside. Each day she stretched her limbs as far as the window pane and uncurled her toes that jammed against her metal pot. Dreaming, she stared out the window and imagined what the wind would feel like on her back. She called for the sun to shine in her direction; Maybe then she would be able to grow big and strong and someone would let her go outside, where she belonged.

Day after day she was watered and told to grow. “How can I grow when I am confined to little dirt and indirect sunshine?” Her spirits sagged with the weight of her captivity. When her people came by she stood upright and did her best to smile. They would see that she was ready. They would soon let her free. She knew it in her heart. Each day she was told “grow”, but she stayed little. The sun was not enough, the dirt held no nutrients and the water didn’t hold the earth’s magic. She sighed, “I must live a life of being small.

Then one day she was thrown outside. Her people were disgusted with her progress. They weren’t proud to own a scrawny tree. The little tree felt the wind and smelled the beauty, but was drying up because no one had planted her.

Little footsteps came close, then a small figure bent over. “Hey, you.” He called. “You shouldn’t be laying down. Let me dig you a hole.” Small fingers lifted her up and set her inside the primitive dwelling the child had made for her.

The little tree stretched. It felt so good to bury her toes in the warm soil. She stretched her limbs. She could reach for the sky from here. She leaned over to the child, to tell him how grateful she was, but he had run away to play with dirty fingers and soiled pant legs.

The little tree grew, day by day. She welcomed the whispering wind and the touch of the other tree’s roots that surrounded her. Then her people came out and saw her beauty. “You must not touch the other trees.” they commanded. They capped her roots so that they couldn’t touch the trees around. The little tree tried to push the caps off, but she was too weak. She wriggled and swayed, to no avail. She waited hoping that that little child would come back to saved her, but he didn’t. The tree began to wither, even though the beauty of nature surrounded her.

Then it came to her. She could cut off the end of her root structure and be freed from her binds. It would be painful, but she new that it was the only way to stay alive. She made her decision and quickly went to work chopping off pieces of her lifegiving roots.

She cried for she longed to be free no matter the cost. She would grow and touch the other trees once again. She would stand tall and wait for that child to come back to her and play in her branches.

She would be strong and tall one day.


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