t was the first part of December and the frozen ground was covered with snow. My little girl said to me, ‘Daddy can we have that tree we saw on our hike through the woods last summer, for our Christmas tree?
My little girl had a bad accident in the autumn and the doctors had said that she would be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Wanting to do all I could to please my precious child, I began getting things ready to do my chores, in order to get an early start next morning. I forked some hay into a pile to feed the cows and horses, I also set a bucket aside with some grain in it, to feed it to my saddle-horse. I then filled a pan with slop, to feed the pigs. This was all so that I could go and look for the tree that my daughter wanted.
I woke a little earlier than usual and, it being winter, it was still dark. I put the harness on the old workhorse and and hitched him to the sled. The woods were close to my farm and I told the old horse to ‘giddy-up’ and headed for the woods. As I entered the forest, it was beautiful, the bending branches of the trees were barely supporting the snow that had fallen on them, from the heavens above. The poor old horse was trudging along, there were times he would step in deep snow and sink clear to his belly but the sled stayed on top of the snow, as I rode it. ‘Oh how beautiful nature is’, I thought to myself, as I watched the many wonders going by me.
I had to find that tree, for I knew that my little girl’s heart was set on it. I went about five miles into the forest, and there it was! The tree that my poor little girl wanted for a Christmas tree! Funny it didn’t seem like we hiked this far in the autumn but we had. That was the tree, I was sure. I chopped it down and loaded it on the sled.
On the way back to the farm, I was even more pleased with Mother Nature; she had grown my daughter the Christmas tree that she now wanted. Everything was even more beautiful, so I began whistling ‘Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way’.
When I got to the house, I tied the old horse to the hitching rail and unloaded the tree. I had to put it down, to open the door, and when I brought the tree in, that I was so proud of, and stood it up for my girl to see, she looked up from her wheelchair and started crying.
I let go of the tree and knelt down in the front of her.
“What’s the matter my darling?” I asked her.
“It’s beautiful daddy”, she wept, “but what a shame that you cut this beautiful tree down, it was so happy growing in the forest.”
The Christmas Tree by Don Fraser.
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