Wise or Otherwise by Lydia Leavitt and Thad. W.H. Leavitt


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Page 2

A FABLE

[Illustration]

In one of the German forests the stood a tree, which could not be
classified by any of the learned scientists. It was not more beautiful
than many others, but there were distinctive peculiarities which no
other tree possessed. Her dress was of a sadder hue than that of her
companions, and the birds refused to build their nests in her branches.
She was unable to understand the language of her brothers and sisters
and so stood alone and unheeded in the dense forest. One morning she
awakened and found standing by her side a companion tree, odd, like
herself, and she said in her heart:--"I shall be no longer alone. He
will understand my language and we shall hold sweet converse." But he,
in his heart, was saying--"What strange tree is this? We two are unlike
all our companions. I like it not." But she did not hear the murmur of
discontent, and her heart grew glad within her at the great joy that had
come to her and she said in her heart:--"I will cause him to forget that
we are unlike our companions; I will sing to him my softest songs and
gradually her dress of sombre green assumed a brighter hue, young buds
sprang forth, her branches waved softly in the breeze and she wooed the
birds by gentle voice to build their nests in her arms, and,

"In foul weather and in fair,
Day by day in vaster numbers,
Flocked the poets of the air."

At eventide she folded them in her bosom, that their songs might not
disturb the sleep of her companion, and while all the forest slept, she
alone was awake and, in the silence of the night, she murmured softly,
"Ich liebe Dich," and when the sun arose the birds from her arms flew
through the forest, singing, "Ich liebe Dich," and all the trees took up
the song; the birds, the trees and the brooks caught up the refrain and
all the great forest sang, "Ich liebe Dich, Ich liebe Dich."

So the summer passed and her heart grew sad, for she saw the discontent
of her companion, but she said to herself, "When the winter comes I will
shelter him from the blasts," but he said complainingly, "I would I were
like the other trees; I would like my garments to be as those I see
around me. I would my limbs were as those of my companions all through
the forest." And she heard, and said to herself, "I will make his
garments of brilliant green." So she sent from her own roots and
branches the sap--her life blood--to enrich the roots and beautify the
dress of her companion. When the cold blast of winter swept through the
forest she sheltered him with her long limbs, when the snow fell she
covered his head with her branches and caught the weight of snow in her
own arms; so all through the long winter she sheltered him from the
blasts and the weight of snow bore heavily on her branches and at times
they grew weary almost to breaking but her great heart never faltered.

So the spring came and day by day she sent from her own store of
life-blood to enrich that of her companion and soon his garments assumed
the most brilliant hues of all the trees in the forest; the leaves
glinted and glistened in the sunlight, and from the branches there was
ever a low murmur of song; the birds came to build their nests and rear
their young in his arms; and over all there floated a delicate perfume
born of the love which she had breathed over him all the long winter. So
in all the forest there was none so beautiful and stately as he.

His companion said, "Now will he be happy," but her own great heart
began to beat more slowly, the life-blood of which she had given him
could not be replaced, and her garments gradually assumed a sombre hue
and her arms were empty, for the birds no longer nested there.

One morning she awakened and found her companion gone. He had joined the
other trees in the forest; and now the limbs that had borne the weight
of snow began to wither, her leaves began to fall, and when the winter
came again there was no raiment to cover her.

And the woodman said,

"We will cut this tree down, it is dead."

[Illustration]




THE WIND

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Fri 28th Feb 2020, 11:06