The Giving Tree – Beginner Level

Once upon a time there was a tree which loved a little boy. Every day the boy would come to see her. He would pick up her leaves and make things with them. He would climb up her trunk and swing from her branches. He would eat her apples, and they would play games together. And when he was tired, he would sleep in her shade. The boy loved the tree very much, and the tree was happy.

But time went by. The boy grew older, and the tree was often alone. Then, on day the boy came again to the tree. “Come, Boy,” said the tree. “Come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches. Eat apples and play in my shade and be happy!”

“I am too big to climb and play,” said the boy. “I want to buy things and have fun. I want some money. Can you give me some money?”

“I am sorry,” said the tree, “but. I have no money. I have only leaves and apples. Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in the city. Then you will have money and you’ll be happy.”

And so the boy climbed up the tree and picked her apples and carried them away. And the tree was happy.

The boy stayed away for a long time, and the tree was sad. And then one day the boy came back. “Come, Boy,” said the tree excitedly. “Come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and eat apples and play in my shade and be happy!”

“I am too busy to climb trees,” said the boy. “I want a house to keep me warm”, he said. “I want a wife and I want children, and so I need a house. Can you give me a house?”

“I have no house”, said the tree. “The forest is my house”, said the tree. “But you may cut off my branches and build a house. Then you will be happy”. And so the boy cut off her branches and carried them away to build his house. And the tree was happy.

But the boy stayed away for a long time. When he came back, the tree was so happy she found it hard to speak. “Come, Boy.” she said quietly, “Come and play”.

“I am too old and sad to play”, said the boy. “I want a boat that will take me away from here. Can you give me a boat?”

“Cut down my trunk and make a boat”, said the tree. “Then you can sail away and be happy”. And so the boy cut down her trunk and made a boat and sailed away. And the tree was happy… but not really.

And after a long time the boy came back again. “I am sorry Boy”, said the tree sadly, “but I have nothing left to give you. My apples are gone”.

“My teeth are too weak for apples”, said the boy.

“My branches are gone”, said the tree. “You cannot swing on them”.

“I am too old to swing on branches”, said the boy.

“My trunk is gone”, said the tree. “You cannot climb”.

“I am too tired to climb”, said the boy.

“I am sorry,” said the tree. “I wish that I could give you something, but I have nothing left. I am just an old stump. I am sorry.”

“I don’t need very much now”, said the boy. “Just a quiet place to sit and rest. I am very tired”.

“Well”, said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could, “well, an old stump is good for sitting on. Come, Boy, sit down… sit down and rest”. And the boy did. And the tree was happy.