The Littlest Tree on the Mountain

She was the littlest tree on the mountain and she knew it.  Not only was she little, she was different.  All around her tall cedars reached to the sky, spreading magnificent branches. Their fragrant wood was much sought after by the king’s builders. The littlest tree wished she could hide her crooked limbs and rough, dark bark. She was a stranger. She didn’t belong among cedars.

The cedars dreamed they would one day see the king. The littlest tree heard them boasting. “I will be a mast on the royal ship,” sang a young slender tree. Said another, looking proudly down his straight, sturdy trunk, “I will live in the king’s palace, a beam in the royal banquet hall,” A huge cedar boomed, “I will be a pillar in the throne room, the grandest place of all.”

The littlest tree looked down on her gnarled dark trunk. Oh, she was strong and almost straight, but she was so small, so plain!  She fought back tears. She would never see the king.

One morning the woodcutters came. They laid down their axes and looked about. A gruff voice called, “Over there; a fine young tree for the king’s ship.”  Axes rang and the young cedar fell. “Over there,” called the gruff voice, “The smaller one will be just right for the palace. And take the bigger one for the throne room.”

All through the day the woodcutters worked and the littlest tree grew sadder and sadder. “I will grow old and die on this mountain,” she cried, “I will never see the king.” With all her heart she wished she had never been born.

In her sadness she heard the gruff voice say, “Just one more. It need not be big or fine. The Bethlehem innkeeper asked for a small tree to repair his stable.” The axe bit her trunk and the littlest tree wept. “A stable? I’m fit only for a stable?  Now for certain I will never see the king.  What king would come to a stable?”

Old Grandpa Lloyd