Friday, July 29, 2016

The Tree With The Sweetest Oranges

There once was a tree that produced the sweetest oranges. Soon the word spread and people arrived from great distances to pick its fruit.

But rather than limit themselves so the tree could rest, some people cried out, "I must have more, give me more" as they picked and picked the oranges.

Then one day, the tree ran out of oranges and could produce no more.

"You must produce more oranges," a man demanded, as he shook the tree.

But the tree responded by shedding its leaves, as its fruitless branches sagged.

"The tree is dying," a woman said softly with tears in her eyes.

"Then the tree is worthless," the crowd shouted, as they grabbed their empty orange sacks and walked away.

Soon the tree was forgotten.

The one person who never forgot the tree was the woman who had cried when she saw the dying tree.

Each week she would visit the leafless, fruitless tree and offer it words of encouragement. It looked like a lost cause.

But then one day she noticed that with the warm sunshine and nourishing rain, the tree was slowly beginning to recover.

In the Spring when she saw white scented flowers cover its branches, she knew those flowers would become the sweetest oranges.

"I'll keep your secret," she whispered to the tree. "For the greed of others nearly killed you."

That year and for many years thereafter, she would pick some oranges to feed to the homeless and the poor.

"I understand," she said as she hugged the tree's trunk. "To prosper you must share your oranges. For us to prosper, we must not take too many oranges, and we must treat you with respect."

"With this balance, there will be prosperity."

As she said this, it appeared that the tree smiled at her, but how could that be? No-one had ever seen a tree smile. That is until then.


This story was inspired in part by "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

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