The Pine Tree by Hans Christian Andersen
a story in Five parts.......part One
I. WHEN IT WAS LITTLE
Out in the woods stood such a nice little Pine Tree: he had a good place; the sun could get at him; there was fresh air enough; and round him grew many big comrades, both pines and firs.
But the little Pine wanted so very much to be a grown-up tree.
He did not think of the warm sun and of the fresh air, he did not care for the little cottage-children who ran about and prattled when they were looking for wild strawberries and raspberries. Often they came with a whole jug full, or had their strawberries strung on a straw, and sat down near the little Tree and said, "Oh, what a nice little fellow!" This was what the Tree could not bear to hear.
The year after he had shot up a good deal, and the next year after he was still bigger; for with pine trees one can always tell by the shoots how many years old they are.
"Oh, were I but such a big tree as the others are," sighed the little Tree. "Then I could spread my branches so far, and with the tops look out into the wide world! Birds would build nests among my branches; and when there was a breeze, I could nod as grandly as the others there."
He had no delight at all in the sunshine, or in the birds, or the red clouds which morning and evening sailed above him.
When now it was winter and the snow all around lay glittering white, a hare would often come leaping along, and jump right over the little Tree. Oh, that made him so angry! But two winters went by, and with the third the Tree was so big that the hare had to go round it. "Oh, to grow, to grow, to become big and old, and be tall," thought the Tree: "that, after all, is the most delightful thing in the world!"
In autumn the wood-cutters always came and felled some of the largest trees. This happened every year, and the young Pine Tree, that was now quite well grown, trembled at the sight; for the great stately trees fell to the earth with noise and cracking, the branches were lopped off, and the trees looked quite bare, they were so long and thin; you would hardly know them for trees, and then they were laid on carts, and horses dragged them out of the wood.
Where did they go to? What became of them?
In spring, when the Swallow and the Stork came, the Tree asked them, "Don't you know where they have been taken? Have you not met them anywhere?"
The Swallow did not know anything about it; but the Stork looked doubtful, nodded his head, and said, "Yes; I have it; I met many new ships as I was flying from Egypt; on the ships were splendid masts, and I dare say it was they that smelt so of pine. I wish you joy, for they lifted themselves on high in fine style!"
"Oh, were I but old enough to fly across the sea! How does the sea really look? and what is it like?"
"Aye, that takes a long time to tell," said the Stork, and away he went.
"Rejoice in thy youth!" said the Sunbeams, "rejoice in thy hearty growth, and in the young life that is in thee!"
And the Wind kissed the Tree, and the Dew wept tears over him, but the Pine Tree understood it not.
*******part 2 tomorrow********
I plan to put up a part of this story each day followed by a different holiday/Christmas tree craft. There are soooo many crafts that I'm sure I'll run out of story first!
Using a Pine Cone as a tree is a very popular idea. I like all of the different decorations (painted snow tips, beads, stars etc) but I think my favorite is this very colorful one I found at KiwiCrate .com that uses pompoms found at the dollar store for ornaments.
Kids will love making this edible Christmas Tree made out of a waffle cone, frosting and candy. I found this craft at Make Life Delicious.