Littlest Fir Tree
||Deep in the middle of the
forest, where the trees grew thick and green and tall, a group
of fir trees grew close together. They grew and grew towards the
light, so they grew very straight and very tall. But one of the
trees, although it was green and sturdy, didn't grow as tall as
its brothers and so had to spend all day looking up to them, and
had to just listen while they talked amongst themselves.
These trees knew they
were special, and that one day they would be taken and used for
wonderful things. Every day they would talk about what they
would like to become.
"I will become a
telegraph pole," said the very tallest of the trees,
"and I will carry the wires so the people can talk to each
other even though they are miles and miles apart."
"I will be a mast on
a great ship, so it can sail all around the world - I will see
places and things you can only dream of," said another
"They will use MY
timber to build houses for the people to live in," said
another tree, "I will be VERY useful."
Every day the fir trees
talked about what they would like to become, and every day the
littlest fir tree just listened.
Although the little tree
had sturdy branches with thick green needles growing all along
them, its trunk wasn't quite straight, and it was so small it
knew it would never be made into a telegraph pole, or a tall
ship, or even a house.
The littlest fir tree was
The days grew shorter and
the nights grew colder, and then it began to snow.
The trees began to
complain : "What if all this snow breaks my branches?"
wondered one. "What if the weight of the snow bends my nice
straight trunk?" thought the tree who wanted to be a
None of the big trees
liked the snow.
fir tree thought the snow was very nice - it made everything
look pretty, and besides, its soft covering was like a blanket
and protected the tiny new buds on the ends of its branches from
the sharp frosts and cold winds. The littlest fir tree LIKED the
In the middle of the
winter the snow was very deep and covered everything with a cold
white blanket. There wasn't a sound to be heard - the birds had
all flown off to warmer lands, and even the trees were quiet.
Suddenly, in the
distance, they heard voices! Even the tallest, oldest trees
began to get excited. "Perhaps they are coming to take me
to be a telegraph pole!" said the tallest tree. "Maybe
now I will go to far-away places as the mast of a ship!"
cried another. The trees started to rustle their branches and
talk amongst themselves.
Then they all stopped in
surprise. Along the path came two children, dragging a small
wooden sledge behind them. They seemed to be looking for
one of the children, "Here it is! This is the best
tree!" The tall trees were all filled with pride, for each
one thought it was the best tree, and just knew it was
the tree the children were looking at.
surprised they were when both of the children went across to the
LITTLEST tree and stood admiring it. Then they got out a spade
and started to dig. The big trees couldn't understand it, what
did they want with such a little tree? They watched as the
children dug the tree up, loaded it onto their sledge and
dragged it off back along the path.
The littlest fir tree lay
on the sledge, a little bit frightened and a little bit excited.
Carefully the children dragged the sledge along the path and out
of the forest. They pulled it across the snow until they came to
a little house, then they lifted the tree off the sledge and
carried it inside.
The littlest fir tree
didn't know WHAT to expect, but even so it was very surprised
when the children lifted it gently upright again, and placed its
roots carefully in a pot and covered them with soil.
It was even MORE
surprised when the children fetched a box of brightly coloured
things and began to hang them on its branches.
They hung more and more
things on the littlest tree and then, just when it seemed they
had finished, the smallest child climbed on a chair and put a
bright sparkly star on the very top of the tree.
Then they all jumped
around and clapped. "Look at our tree! It's the BEST
Christmas tree in the world!!" they shouted.
The littlest fir tree was
so proud! "I may be the littlest fir tree, but just look at
illustrations © Dianne Davies 2001. All rights reserved