Sunday, February 24, 2008

A boy and An Apple Tree

Once upon a time, there grew a big apple tree. A boy was really fond of playing around the apple tree everyday. He would climb the tree, pick its fruits and eat them as many as he wanted. At other times, he would take some rest and sleep under the tree. The boy loved the tree so much, and it seemed that the apple tree liked the boy too.

Time passed. The little boy was now a teenager. He didn’t spend his days playing near the apple tree anymore. One day, however, he came near the tree with a sad look on his face.

“Come and play around me,” the tree said to him.

“I’m not a kid anymore. I don’t like playing with you anymore,” answered the teenage boy. “I want a toy. I need some money to buy a toy.” The boy added sadly.

The apple tree said, “In that case, come and pick my fruits. Sell them to get some money. In this way, you will be able to buy the toy you dream of.”

The teenage boy happily picked all the fruits on the tree and then left. He never returned. The apple tree felt very sad.

Time went by. One day, the teenager came back. He had grown up into a young man. The apple tree was very happy to see him again. “Come on, young man. Play around me like you used to do,” said the apple tree.

“I don’t have time to play now. I have to work and earn money. I want to build a house as a shelter for my family. Would you help me, Apple Tree?” asked the young man.

The tree replied, “I’m sorry. I don’t have a house. But, you may cut my big branches and use the wood to build a house.”

That was what the young man did. He cut all the branches of the apple tree, and when he had enough, he left happily. The apple tree was more than happy to be able to help him. But the young man never returned, and it made the apple tree very sad again.

Years passed. It was a hot day when a man came near the leafless and branchless apple tree. The man was actually the boy who used to play near the apple tree. He had now grown up into a matured man.

“Come and play around me,” said the apple tree.

“I’m sorry, but I’m not a kid who likes to play around you anymore. I’ve grown up into an adult and I want to sail across the ocean. Unfortunately, I have no boat to sail. Could you help me again and solve my problem?” answered the man.

The apple tree replied, “I don’t have a boat to give you. But, you may cut down my main trunk and make a boat from it. You then can sail happily.”

The man was very happy to hear it. Then, cut the tree down. He left afterward and never returned.

A long time had passed. One day, an old man came near the apple tree. The tree recognized him. He was the boy who used to play happily around the tree.

“Forgive me this time. I don’t have anything to give you anymore. I have given you my fruits to sell, my branches and twigs to build a house, and my main trunk to make a boat. I don’t have anything anymore. Now, I’m just an old and useless root.” The tree said to him sadly.

The old man replied,” I don’t want your fruits because I have no teeth anymore. I don’t want to cut your branches because I’m just too old and weak to do it.

I don’t need your trunk because I don’t sail anymore. I feel tired and I want to rest.”

“Then, come here and rest on me although I have nothing more to offer except the lowest part of my trunk,” said the apple tree. The old man then sat down to rest on the remaining trunk of the tree. Then, they both cried….

In fact, the apple tree in this story is OUR PARENTS, our beloved father and mother. When we were young kids, we liked to play around them and cuddle up to them. When we grew up, we need their help to live our life. Then, we left them and returned to them when we had problems and needed their help. However, in spite of all that we have done to them, they never give up on us. They never fail to help us and do anything to make sure that we lead a happy life.

You probably think that the boy had treated the apple tree cruelly. But, think about it and take a better look. That’s exactly how most teenagers who live today treat their parents. Why can’t we seem to love them and treat them better? Why can’t we seem to respect them and thank them for all they have done to us? Let’s all think about it. So, when you arrive home, hug your parents and kiss them, before it’s too late ….

- To my Mom (who never fails to love me): “You are THE BEST MOM”

- To the memory of my Dad: “I never forget the moments I spent with you, Dad. I pray to God for you. May you rest in peace. I MISS YOU, Dad.”

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