Willy had been growing in Farmer David's field for the past three years. He'd grown a lot during the past year and he hoped that this year Farmer David would select him as the nicest Christmas tree on his farm.
Willy knew that this was going to be his year, he just knew it! He stretched his branches this way and that to get a better look at himself and he was very satisfied with what he saw. His branches were full and shiny and very, very green.
Sure, there were some missing needles here and there. But, he just couldn't tell Mrs. Robin to move her nest to another tree now could he. And he just couldn't ask Mrs. Caterpillar not to munch on his new green needles. And he couldn't help it if Mr. North Wind blew a little too strong at times either.
All that spring and summer Willy ate and drank as much as he could. He drank every drop of the soft spring rain that fell upon his branches. He dug his new roots down deeper into the earth to absorb all the minerals that he needed to grow big and strong.
He woke early every day just as Mr. Sun came creeping over the horizon and he turned himself this way and that in the bright morning sunshine to make sure that his branches filled out evenly all the way around. He could just feel himself growing stronger and he was certain that his needles looked greener too.
Gradually spring returned once again and some of his old friends came to visit him. Mrs. Robin dropped by to ask if she could make a new nest in his branches because Mr. Wind had blown her old one away. Then, Mrs. Sparrow flew over to tell Willy that she and her family had found a new home just down the road. Mr. Bluebird stopped off to talk about his winter vacation in Northern Maine. Mr. Monarch Butterfly rested on Willy's branch for a while and told him all about his recent journey to Mexico. And Hummy the Hummingbird, in his excitement to be home, flew around Willy so fast that it made him dizzy.
Summer was another of Willy's favorite seasons because he loved to see all his old friends. Sometimes, he'd hear a familiar sound and he knew that Thumpy the Rabbit had come to take a short nap under his cool branches. Or Buzzy the Bee would stop and rest a while before he flew home with his heavy bags of nectar.
But Willy loved it most of all when all the butterflies came by. They'd land on all his branches and the gentle fluttering of their beautiful wings tickled Willy and made him giggle and laugh.
Spring turned into summer and summer into fall and Willy woke one morning to see that Mr. Jack Frost had paid a visit during the night and everything around him had turned to red and gold. Willy was so excited! He could feel the first nip of frost in the air and he knew that soon it was going to be winter again. Then Farmer David would make his rounds at the tree farm and select the most beautiful tree on his entire lot.
Each winter, Farmer David decorated a different tree. The lucky tree would be wrapped in red tinsel and big, gold balls and he would add tiny white lights that twinkled on and off, all over the special tree and finally, Farmer David would carefully place a lovely blue angel at the very tippity top.
Willy carefully counted the days as they slipped slowly by. Soon, it was time. Christmas was only a week away. Farmer David had been slowly pacing through row after row of the trees on his farm and he still hadn't made his decision. It was very difficult because Farmer David grew the most beautiful Christmas trees in Maine.
Seeing Farmer David starting down his row, Willy pulled himself up as straight and tall as he could as he listened to the other trees talking all around him.
"I just know that I'll get picked first," said Mrs. Blue Spruce. "Because I'm so very beautiful!"
"I think I'll get picked first because I clean my branches every day and besides, I'm the tallest tree on the farm!" said Mr. Douglas Fir.
Willy gathered his courage and looked at all the other trees. "I'm going to be the one that Farmer David picks!" He announced in a high squeaky voice.
Hearing this, all the other trees stopped talking and looked at the smallest, scrawniest tree in the lot. Then they laughed and laughed.
"You!" snorted Mrs. Blue Spruce. "Why would anyone want to pick a tree like you? The only thing you're good for is to grow in Farmer David's garden in the spring to frighten the blackbirds away!"
Hearing this, all the other trees laughed and laughed. "Well, I don't care what you think!" Shouted Willy. "I'm going to be chosen! I just know it!"
The day finally arrived and Farmer David made his choice. He chose a fine Norwegian Pine and he spent several days decorating it. It was magnificent to say the least. Willy watched all the activity but his heart was broken. Still, he held his head up high and he didn't let on to all the others but, from time to time, a large blue tear slipped down his shiny green branches to the ground. He glanced over at the lovely Norwegian Pine and wished with all his heart that it could have been him.
All the trees gossiped and talked to each other but they ignored Willy. Willy felt very alone in that large field surrounded by all the other trees. "I guess I'll just have to wait till next year," thought Willy. "I'll just have to try harder and eat and drink more," Willy resolved to himself. But his little head hung down and his heart was very sad.
All of the birds noticed that Willy wasn't his normal happy self and they gathered on the telephone wires to discuss how they could help their little friend.
"I know what we'll do," chirped Mrs. Sparrow. "Lets decorate Willy for Christmas to show him how very much we care." "What a wonderful idea!" crowed Mrs. Crow. "I know," peeped Mr. Robin. "Let's all go home and get some decorations and meet back here at one o'clock." It was settled and as they flew away, Willy felt even more alone. He hung his sad little head and couldn't take his eyes off the ground.
Willy must have drifted off to sleep for a little nap because suddenly, he was surrounded by a commotion like he'd never seen before! Tiny red, blue and yellow creatures flew around him like a rainbow. He didn't know what to think.
Mrs. Robin flew round and round with a bright red ribbon in her beak. Willy became dizzy from watching her. Mr. Black Bird tied golden pine cones all over his dark, green branches. Mrs. Crow hung garlands of red cranberries here and there and Mrs. Sparrow dropped bits of silver tinsel all over Willy's green needles. And finally, every member of the Cardinal family flew up and perched on the very tips of Willy's branches. And then Mrs. White Dove landed ever so gently on the very tippity top of Willy's green head.
Willy couldn't believe his eyes! Shyly, he looked around and saw that all the other trees had stopped talking. They were all looking at him.
"I hate to admit it," sniffed Mrs. Blue Spruce, "But you really are quite beautiful!" All the other trees nodded in agreement. "Why I do believe that you are even more beautiful than I am," whined Mrs. Pine.
Willy had to agree, he really was more beautiful indeed! And then, something even more wonderful happened! It began to snow. Tiny white flakes came fluttering down out of the heavens and landed gently on his branches. "Oh," thought Willy, "I am beautiful! I am! I am! I am!
And then, the most wonderful thing of all happened. All of his friends began to sing. They sang all of his favorite Christmas songs. Mr. Owl sang "Oh Holy Night," in his strong, deep voice and the Oriel family sang "Away in a Manger." Mr. Bluebird sang "Oh Tannenbaum" and best of all Chatty the Catbird sang a stirring rendition of "Rockin Around the Christmas Tree."
Suddenly, Willy wasn't sad anymore because Willy knew that he was special. He had lots of friends and if you have friends, you are never ever, really alone.
- This is a recently written article that has not previously been published.
Martha Stevens-David Column Magic City
The Most Recently Republished Articles include:
The Maine Pine Tree
Tha Huntin Trip
The Blueberry Pie
Recent Book Reviews:
Childrens Stories include:
See also Vengeance is Mine a short mystery novel published at Magic City over 4 days.
All works by Martha Stevens-David published at Magic City Morning Star News are her copyright property and may not be reproduced without her permission.