The little green tree stood in the forest feeling so alone and unhappy. But then one winter day, something changed its life.

“Why do I have to be so different?” cried the little tree as he looked around him. “Even my shape is so different!”

The trees that grew around him laughed at him. Some said, “Hey, where did you come from?” while others said, “How did you land up here? You don’t look like one of us!”

The little tree looked down at himself and found he was almost triangular in shape and a bright green in colour. He had sharp needle-like leaves and a straight trunk. When he looked at the other trees, he saw they were various shades of green and their trunks were thick and grew in different directions and they had numerous branches from which sprouted flowers and fruit. Birds built nests on their branches and there was so much joyous activity around them. The more he compared himself to the other trees, the more depressed he became.

It was a glorious summer and all around the little tree, there was happiness. Birds and animals sang and danced happily in the shade of the great big trees. The trees seemed to change colour every day, sometimes even twice or thrice a day depending on where the sunlight caught their leaves. There were plenty of fruits, flowers and berries. It was indeed a haven of good things. Well, almost… for, the little green tree stood alone and unhappy in the centre. His branches drooped and his colour was constant, he did not bear fruit or flower nor did his droopy branches attract any bird.

Autumn came and the flurry of activity continued. The summer party was done, and all around everything was settling down for the long winter ahead. Trees changed colour to bright red, orange and ochre. The ripe fruits and faded flowers fell on the forest floor forming a thick carpet. Birds were preparing for their holiday in the sun, while squirrels and others began to gather food for the cold season. But still the little tree stood there unchanged. He sighed as he watched the world around him change, “Whatever happens I think I will always remain like this!” With another long, sharp sigh, he dropped his branches a little lower and sank back into gloom.

The days grew shorter and everything in the forest seemed to be quietening down. In the long, dark nights not a creature moved, just an occasional hoot from the owl, otherwise all was silent in the forest. The silence cast a deeper gloom upon the little green tree.

Surprise!

One day, when a weak sun shone and a chill hung about the air and the little green tree was too sunk in despair to notice anything around him, a shrill cry went up. Startled, the green tree woke up and found a little girl standing in front of him.

“Dad, Mom, Sheetal…come quickly! See what I found!” The little girl jumped about rather excitedly. Crashing into the clearing came a man, a woman and a girl slightly older than the one who was jumping in front of the little green tree.

“Oh, this is just perfect!” said the man.

“And the colour is just right,” said the woman.

“Can we take this home?” said the older girl.

“Please, please, please…” pleaded the little one.

“Hmmm…yes, I think we will. But then we will take it as it is. And replant it in our garden.”

The little green tree was bewildered. What was going to happen to him? Were these people going to take him away? True, this was not exactly the happiest place for him, but then, he knew the other trees here… Thoughts rushed through his branches. But even before he could figure out what was happening he was uprooted and being carried away. He was tied to a car and driven away…far from his home, the forest. He arrived at a lovely house with a big lawn that gave on to flower beds and little bushes forming a border. Very quickly a lovely spot was found for him in a corner of the lawn that did not expose the little tree to too much sun, and he was placed carefully in it, and given water to drink. He felt comfortable and …strangely, happy.

That evening, the people of the house came out and began to decorate him.

“We are decorating our Christmas tree,” said the little girl, excitedly.

He felt a bit weird but when they had finished, he looked at himself and saw tinsel and lights, angels and Santas, stars and tiny gifts hanging from his branches. He straightened himself and for the first time in his life he felt good. He knew that he was not just a little green tree, but a wonderful Christmas tree!

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