Dec 01 2010

The Tale of Three Trees

The Tale of Three Trees
A traditional folk tale, retold by Angela Elwell Hunt

Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up.

The first little tree looked up at the stars twinkling like diamonds above him. "I want to hold treasure," he said. "I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I will be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!"

The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on its way to the ocean. "I want to be a strong sailing ship," he said. "I want to travel mighty waters and carry powerful kings. I will be the strongest ship in the world!"

The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and busy women worked in a busy town. "I don't want to leave this mountain top at all," she said. "I want to grow so tall that when people stop to took at me they will raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world!"

Years passed. The rains came, the sun shone, and the little trees grew tall.

One day three woodcutters climbed the mountain.

The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, "This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining ax, the first tree fell.

"Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest," thought the first tree. "I shall hold wonderful treasure."

The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, "This tree is strong. It is perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining ax, the second tree fell.

"Now I shall sail mighty waters," thought the second tree. "I shall be a strong ship fit for kings!"

The third tree felt her heart sink when the last woodcutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven.

But the woodcutter never even looked up. "Any kind of tree will do for me," he muttered. With a swoop of his shining ax, the third tree fell.

The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought him to a carpenter's shop, but the busy carpenter was not thinking about treasure chests. Instead his work-worn hands fashioned the tree into a feed box for animals.

The once-beautiful tree was not covered with gold or filled with treasure. He was coated with sawdust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals.

The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took him to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ships were being made that day. Instead the once-strong tree was hammered and sawed into a simple fishing boat.

Too small and too weak to sail an ocean or even a river, he was taken to a little lake. Every day he brought in loads of dead, smelly fish.

The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard.

"What happened?" the once-tall tree wondered. "All I ever wanted to do was stay on the mountain top and point to God."

Many, many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams.

But one night golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feed box.

"I wish I could make a cradle for him," her husband whispered.

The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and sturdy wood. "This manger is beautiful," she said.

And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.

One evening, many years later, a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake.

Soon a thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. He knew he did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through the wind and rain.

The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, "Peace, be still!" The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun.

And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the King of heaven and earth.

One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry, jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man's hands to her.

She felt ugly and harsh and cruel.

But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God's love had changed everything.

It had made the first tree beautiful.

It had made the second tree strong.

And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God.

That was better than being the tallest tree in the whole world.


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Comments (41) -

12/1/2009 5:41:40 AM
Adel Arrizola United States
Adel Arrizola
It is a nice heartwarming tale. Indeed.
12/1/2009 9:20:23 AM
susan flores United States
susan flores
This story was beautiful
I am going to print it out and read it to my grandchildren on christmas morning.

Thank you for this message
12/1/2009 10:09:27 AM
Sue United States
Sniff-sniff-sniff!  I'm sitting here at work reading this on my lunch break crying my eyes out.  What a story and very special way to begin the countdown to Christmas.  I love the advent calendar idea.  Heard you talk about it on the radio this morning and clearly remembered the advent calendars we had as a child.  They were usually gifts from my Grandma and such a special part of our Christmas tradition.  Thank you!
12/1/2009 11:48:15 AM
Angela United States
This was a nice story.  It made me think.  Thank you for sharing.
12/1/2009 1:01:38 PM
Diana United States
I loved this story.  I had not heard it in years. Thanks for reminding me.
12/1/2009 1:34:04 PM
Pamela United States
Such a beautiful story. I had read it before, but it resonates joy in my heart upon reading it again. Thank you.
12/1/2009 1:52:16 PM
Jami United States
It brought tears to my eyes!  What a great lesson!  
12/1/2009 1:55:07 PM
Lisa Childs United States
Lisa Childs
This was an awesome story. So awesome. However, there is one word misspelled. Take, should be lake. Smile
12/1/2009 2:09:16 PM
Lisa and Adryan United States
Lisa and Adryan
Wow me and my son loved that story it was cool gave us a little tearry thanks so much Eric and Lisa for sharing this its really cool,Love you guys my son is now putting you guys on everyday.Bless you all,
12/1/2009 2:41:37 PM
Traci F United States
Traci F
The story is Great!!! And it does make you think. Also what I got out of it was that you can do things for our lord, but when you are focused on him, that is when you get your victory..
12/1/2009 2:41:39 PM
Elizabeth United States
I've never heard this story before...beautiful. Smile
12/1/2009 2:56:49 PM
Dixie Carriere United States
Dixie Carriere
I've never heard this story. It is probably the most beautiful I've heard. Thank you for helping us to realize that life isn't always what you wished for, sometimes it's better.
12/1/2009 3:03:49 PM
Dalene United States
I'd never heard this before.  It is awesome!  I like the advent calendar (story) idea.  We have an advent calendar that we do every year, but I like this with storied attached.  Awesome!  Thanks.
12/1/2009 3:14:02 PM
Tony Mexico
Loved it!! never heard it before!!
12/1/2009 3:21:38 PM
Corinna United States
WOW* I love trees Smile
12/1/2009 4:28:05 PM
Marion Jean Grant Canada
Marion Jean Grant
This is a great story and needs to be told every year to remind us that God wants to use us no matter who we are - adults, teens or a child. Children need to know God loves them and He can use them as children to carry the message of God's love
12/1/2009 5:21:01 PM
Shari United States
Wonderful start to the countdown to Christmas. This just lets us know that we are created for God's work also. Merry CHRISTmas K-Love family!
12/1/2009 5:28:36 PM
Bertha Buttner United States
Bertha Buttner
Thanks! Smile
12/1/2009 5:38:30 PM
Niki United States
This was an awesome story. I just read it with my kids and husband and couldn't get through it without crying. It was a great start to our Advent devotionals! Thank you so much! Smile
12/1/2009 6:37:52 PM
Denise United States
WOW! I have never read this before but what a message. Thank you K-Love
12/1/2009 7:30:23 PM
lynn United States
This ought to be reshown repeatedly prior to Resurrection Sunday. Why doesn't KLOVE have a 30 day celebration for that more important to Christians day as well as for Christmas? Honoring Jesus the Victor makes more sense than Jesus the Babe, though that was necessary for Him to become Victor.
12/1/2009 7:40:54 PM
carol United States
What a wonderful and touching story. I think I read or heard it several years ago but forgot about it. Thanks for sharing it with all of us.
12/1/2009 8:05:52 PM
rose nute United States
rose nute
And God takes care of everthing even the small things.
12/2/2009 5:25:12 AM
Melody Doepel United States
Melody Doepel
Here yuo go making me cry this early.  Love the story.  Thank you for sharing.
12/2/2009 5:43:38 AM
Renee Hamschin United States
Renee Hamschin
This is one of my favorite stories. God's amazing love never ceases.
12/2/2009 7:29:03 AM
Tina United States
I so LOVE this story! The first time I heard of it was 2 years ago, My daughter's 3rd grade class did this story as a Christmas play at her school. It was beautiful! She played the little tree!
Thank you for sharing this! Smile
12/2/2009 7:41:24 AM
Melana Moss United States
Melana Moss
I bought this book and my children love it!!!
12/2/2009 8:13:01 AM
Brian Atkinson United States
Brian Atkinson
This is a good story. Our church done a play on it last year and it turned out to be the best play I have ever seen
12/2/2009 11:10:36 AM
Missy Macias United States
Missy Macias
Thank you so much! I loved this!! I am now crying emotional tears at the thought of our Savior coming down to suffer the ultimate sacrifice for the world's transgressions!! I plan to share this with my daughter today!! Because of Christ---Love-Peace and Joy! <><
12/2/2009 11:57:38 AM
Erin Honduras
Thank you for a "little taste from home".  We are missionaries in Honduras, and a friend of mind showed me your link.  Our family will be following along with your advent all the way down here in Honduras!  Bendiciones!
12/2/2009 5:31:25 PM
Jolene United States
Beautiful story!  I am going to give it to my children and friends.
12/4/2009 5:44:42 AM
Jenni United States
I will definatly be reading this to my husbands family on Christmas Eve when we have our traditional dinner with them.  None of them are saved and this story is such a great witness to the greatness of God with the lowlyest of people
12/4/2009 9:54:37 AM
Debbie Sanders United States
Debbie Sanders
This is a beautiful story.  It brought tears to my eyes.  Thank you for posting it.
12/4/2009 4:29:20 PM
Della United States
I am involved in prison ministry and presented this to a group of women at a California prison last night and tied it into daring to hope for dreams in their lives.  It was a great smash!
12/7/2009 6:08:25 AM
Russ United States
Our Church is blessed to have a storyteller in our congregation. She told this story a while back.How inspiring! Grab His Hand and follow your dreams!
12/8/2009 12:42:12 PM
Teresa Wells United States
Teresa Wells
I almost didn't read this, thinking I'd heard it before! What a pleasant surprise. It just goes to show that God can make each of us into something that gives Him glory, if we just let Him lead our lives instead of insisting on being in charge of it all.
12/8/2009 1:19:10 PM
Tracy United States
Been awhile since I have heard this one. Thank you so much for the inspiration you give us all!
12/9/2009 5:29:59 PM
Bethany van Cleave United States
Bethany van Cleave
i heard the same story but there was a forth tree that wanted to be a kite.He was turned into paper and the bible was printed on him way later
12/13/2009 6:51:02 PM
Russ United States
The Tale of Three TreesA traditional folk tale, retold by Angela Elwell HuntOnce upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up.The first little tree looked up at the stars twinkling like diamonds...
Thank you for the great blog about the subjects I love.
12/1/2010 4:55:29 PM
TERRI United States
after having read yesterday what really happened when christ was crucified, this story literally gave me the chills!!!thankyou for sharing it with give's you a whole new perspective.
12/4/2010 7:32:11 AM
Meaghan United States
I got goosebumps from this.  Beautiful story.
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