The Old, Rough Stone and the Gnarled Tree
A great rough stone lay beneath a gnarled old tree. Years ago a tiny squirrel had climbed upon the stone to nibble some nuts, but before he had finished he was startled away.
“There!” thought the stone to himself as he saw a nut roll to the ground, “now that nut will take root and grow into a tree and I will have to lie here for ages beneath its branches. I wish the silly squirrel had gone some other place to eat the nuts!”
When the little nut took root and sent its tiny shoots up in the air, the old, rough Stone said, “There! I knew it!” and he disliked the tree from that time on.
The old, rough Stone watched the tiny green shoot grow and grow until it grew into an enormous tree.
“Just see how he pushes me up in the air with his roots!” the old, rough Stone said to himself.
When the gnarled tree was covered with leaves in the summer time, the old, rough Stone said, “Just see how he hides the blue sky from my view!”
And in the winter time when the limbs of the tree were bare, the old, rough Stone said, “Just see how he lets the snow and the cold rain fall right on me!”
One night during a heavy storm the old, rough Stone heard a crash, and in the morning he saw the gnarled tree lying upon the ground. “Now I shall be all by myself again!” he said. Then he counted the rings in the trunk of the gnarled tree until he came to three hundred, which was as far as he could count. “More than three hundred years have passed since that silly little squirrel dropped the nut from which this tree grew!” said the old, rough Stone to himself.
Then men came with axes and cut up the tree and carried all of it away.
When the hot summer days came the sun beat down upon the old, rough Stone and he missed the shade of the gnarled tree. “My! It’s hot!” said the old, rough Stone, “I wish the gnarled tree with its pretty rustling leaves were here again to shade me and keep me cool!”
When winter came the old, rough Stone missed the leaves which fell around him and kept him warm.
“Oh dear! How cold it is!” he cried, “I wish the gnarled tree would come back and scatter his leaves about me to protect me from the cold!”
So years and years and years passed, and the great old, rough Stone lay all alone.
“I wish another squirrel would come to eat nuts upon me!” he thought. “Squirrels are such knowing little creatures, I am sure another might drop a nut which would grow into a lovely tree to keep me company.”
But, many more years passed, and never again did a tiny squirrel sit upon the old, rough Stone and eat nuts. And never again did another tree grow above the old, rough Stone to keep him company.
“Ah me!” sighed the old, rough Stone, “We never know how well off we are until we lose something we really need!”- Total nr. of readings: 3,946 Copyright © The author  All Rights Reserved. This story may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author except for personal use.
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