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Two Apple Trees

In the Spring,  just a few years ago, loving hands planted 2 apple trees in the garden.  They had grown to maturity and were ready to bear fruit.   Both trees were big and strong.  Leaves began to uncurl.  Blossoms began to spring forth. The branches became covered with magnificent beauty of pink & green.
    The first tree boasted to the second, "My leaves are greener then yours.  My blossoms are more plentiful and more beautiful."   The second tree replied.  "Yes, you are magnificent."

     beemovin.gif (12174 bytes)        As the days became warm, a swarm of honey bees arrived in the garden.  The first tree shouted, "Get away from my blossoms.  They are mine.  How dare you suck out their sweetness.  You thieves!"  So the bees left the first tree.
      Upon arriving at the second tree, they were received quite differently.  "Welcome, welcome.  I am so glad you came" sang the second tree.  "Please help yourself to the nectar of my blossoms.  I have so many."   The tree was soothed by the buzzing of the bees and caressed by the flutter of their wings.
      The first tree looked at the second thinking, "Stupid fool.  He will have nothing left for himself."
 
 Some days later a gentle breeze began to blow.  The first tree shouted at the wind, "Stop your blowing.  You are making my blossoms fall off." 
      The second tree stretched out it's branches, enjoying the refreshing coolness on the warm summer day.  It rejoiced in seeing it's blossoms scattered across the garden, covering the ground in a blanket of fragrant pink beauty.
     The first tree looked at the second thinking, "Stupid fool.   He will have nothing left for himself."

      Soon came the spring rains.  Again the first tree became angry.  "Stop, Stop!" shouted the first tree to the rain.   "How dare you get my leaves all wet.  You are making my blossoms all soggy and droopy."  But the second tree welcomed the rain.  "Oh, thank you soft rain for washing my leaves and making my blossoms glisten in the sun."
      The first tree thought,  " Stupid Fool. What little he will have left will be ruined"
       bird1.gif (3069 bytes) Soon tiny apples began to form on both trees.  This brought the birds and the insects.  The first tree shouted at the birds, "Get away from my apples.  They are mine.  How dare you peck at them, you vandals!"
     The second tree welcomed the birds.  "Please help yourself to the worms and the insects.  I appreciate your help in protecting my apples."
      But the first tree only saw the birds pecking away at the apples.  He did not stop to realize they were eating the insects and worms.  He thought to himself, "Stupid fool.  He will have nothing left for himself."
bird1.gif (3069 bytes)
      The apples grew on both trees until they were large, red and looked delicious.  The loving hands came to the garden to harvest the apples.  The first tree shouted, "Get away.   These apples are mine.  You can not have them,  you robber!"
      The second tree welcomed the loving hands of the harvester.   "Oh, thank you for coming.  My branches were getting so tired of holding all these apples.  I hope I have provided good fruit for you. I have tried my best to serve you well."  And the loving hands gently picked each apple.  He appreciated the way the tree had provided for him.  He would share the apples with his neighbors and friends.
       As the first tree watched the second be picked bare, he thought to himself,  "Stupid fool.  He will have nothing left for himself."
      apple tree.gif (5169 bytes)
       tree1.gif (3993 bytes)      Autumn arrived and the temperatures cooled.  The loving hands came to prune back the branches of the trees. The first tree shrieked in horror,  "Get away from me!!  You can not cut my branches off.  You are just mad at me because I would not let you take my apples."  It had failed to see that it's apples had shriveled up. Worms and insects had eaten them from the inside out.  The trees' branches were weak and sagging from trying to hang onto all the apples and leaves and blossoms.  They had had no rest.  They had fought off birds and bees and wind and rain.  They had fought off the harvester.  Now it had to fight off being pruned back.  The first tree was exhausted. 
      The second tree welcomed the pruning.  It had worked hard and  knew the old useless branches needed to be cut away so it could rest.  It had done it's job and accepted the  responsibilities that the loving hands had entrusted to it.  It had grown strong from protecting the apples for the loving hands.   It was refreshed with the gentle breezes and soft rain.  The birds and the bees had not only helped protect the apples,  but soothed and calmed it with their lovely songs and gentle kiss.  It was ready to relax for the coming winter so it would be ready to provide even better apples the next year.

 tree bare.gif (1207 bytes)

       The first tree watched as the loving hands cut away at the branches on the second tree.  He thought,  "Stupid fool.  He will have noting left for himself."
       After a long winter, the trees awoke to a crisp spring morning.  The first tree woke tired and un-rested.  Actually, quite grumpy.  The second tree was rested and eager to begin a new season of caring and sharing.  It was excited to again serve the loving hands that had planted it and given it care for so many years. It was excited to grow new apples to share with everyone.
     Blossoms began covering the branches of both trees.  The first tree complained,  " These pesky blossoms.  Don't they know I need my strength for my apples."  So it shook them off as quickly as the appeared.       
      The second tree counted every blossom in anticipation of how many honeybees would come to visit.  It had missed the soft humming they made and the gentle caress of their wings.
       Leaves uncurled and the first tree complained, "These pesky leaves.  Don't they realize I need my strength for my apples."  And it shook them off just as quickly as they uncurled.
     The second tree welcomed the leaves.  It knew they would provide shade for the apples and for the children of loving hands who would come to play in the garden.  It knew they would provide a safe place for the birds to build a nest.   It was excited at the thought of protecting the eggs it knew would fill the nests.  
birds.gif (8851 bytes)
      The first tree did not have to worry about the bees because it had thrown off his blossoms.   It did not have to worry about those pesky birds building a nest on it's branches because it had thrown off it's leaves.  Apples, apples, is all the first tree could think about.  That and how foolish the second tree was.  "Look at him, wasting his energy on those blossoms just so those pesky bees can come and steal from him."  He thought to himself.  "And wasting all that energy on leaves to provide shade for noisy children and pesky birds."   What a stupid fool he is." 
bird1.gif (3069 bytes)       The season changed and the first tree kept waiting and waiting for the apples to appear.  The second tree already had small apples.  "Stupid fool," thought the first tree.   "There he goes again, letting those pesky birds peck at his apples.  Will he never learn?" 
      Many weeks past and the loving hands came to harvest the apples. The first tree laughed smugly to himself,  "Ha Ha.   You can't take my apples because I didn't make any for you.  So there, you thief!"   The loving hands did not need the apples from the first tree because the second tree had doubled it's fruit from the previous year.  It had worked hard and lovingly to serve the loving hands.
Why didn't the first tree have any apples?
Do you think the first tree will learn from not having any apples?
What do you think the loving hands will do with the first tree?

Here is your chance to finish this story.                        

Carol 1986

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