Τετάρτη, 22 Σεπτεμβρίου 2010

The Three Trees


Once upon a time on the top of a hill stood three small trees that were dreaming about what they wanted to be when they grew.

The first one looked up towards the stars and said, “I want to guard a treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I will be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!”

The second one looked far away at a small river flowing slowly on its way to the sea. “I want to sail in the open sea and carry strong kings. I will be the mightiest ship in the world!”

The third tree looked down at the valley, where energetic men and women travelled in a busy city. “I don’t want to leave the peak of the mountain. I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me, they will look up in the sky and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world.”

Many years went by. It rained, the sun shone and the small trees grew taller.

One day three woodmen went up the mountain. The first one looked at the first tree and said, “This tree is beautiful. It’s exactly what I need,” and having said that he cut the tree with a single stroke of his sharp axe. “Now they will turn me into a beautiful chest and I will guard great treasures!” said the first tree.

The second woodman looked at the second tree and said, “This tree is sturdy. It’s exactly what I need,” and having said that, he cut the second tree with a single stroke of his glittering axe. “Now I will sail in the open sea!” thought the tree, “I will become a mighty ship for strong kings!”

The third tree was disappointed when the last woodman looked at it. It stood upright and tall pointing bravely at the sky. The woodman looked up and murmured, “Any tree will do.” He cut the third tree with a single stroke of his axe.

The first tree was happy when the woodman took it to the carpenter. However, he turned it into a crib for animals. The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold or treasure. It was coated with wood shavings and was filled with hay so that hungry animals in a stable could eat in it.

The second tree smiled when the woodman took it to the shipyard but no mighty ships were built that day. Instead, this sturdy tree was turned into a fishing boat built with a hammer and a saw. It was too small and feeble to cross the ocean or even a river. So, it was taken to a small lake.

The third tree was confused when the woodman chopped it into sturdy beams and left it at the carpenter’s workshop. “What happened?” wondered the tall tree, “What I have always wanted was to stand on the peak of the mountain and point at God.”

Many days and nights went by. The three trees had almost forgotten their dreams.

But one night, the golden moonlight gleamed down on the first tree as a young woman lay her newborn baby in the crib. “I wish I could make a cradle for him,” whispered her husband. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the moonlight gleamed on the smooth and sturdy wood. “This crib is beautiful,” she said. Suddenly, the first tree realized that it was carrying the greatest treasure in the world.

One night a tired traveller and his friends got in an old fishing boat. The traveller fell asleep, as the second tree slowly hoisted its sails in the lake. Soon a violent thunderstorm arose. The small tree was seized with fear. It knew that it did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through the wind and the rain. The tired man woke up. He stood up, stretched out his arm and said, “Silence! Be still!” The storm stopped just as quickly as it had started. Suddenly, the second tree realized that it was carrying the King of heaven and earth.

On a Friday morning the third tree was surprised when someone pulled the beam out of a forgotten wood pile. It quailed as they carried it through the derision of an angry mob. It got scared when the soldiers nailed a man’s hands to it. It felt ugly, rough and cold-hearted. But on Sunday morning when the sun rose and the earth under the tree started to shake with joy, the third tree knew that the love of God had changed everything. It had made the third tree strong. And every time that people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. This was better than being the tallest tree in the world.

So, next time you are sad because you did not become who you wanted to be, just stay still and be happy because someone somewhere else may be thinking of something better to give you.

A compilation of stories that serves as a bright reminder to all of us that every time we quail, every time we hesitate, every time we do not believe in ourselves and our abilities, we insult our Creator.

Extract from Akis Aggelakis’ book Stories That Strengthen the Soul, Editions Pyrinos Kosmos


***(Gorilaki) Θέλω να ευχαριστήσω θερμά την φίλη αναγνώστρια, που με δική της πρωτοβουλία έκανε την μετάφραση σε αυτή την ιστορία από τα Ελληνικά στα Αγγλικά και μου την έστειλε. Η χειρονομία της αποτελεί μία όαση καλοσύνης και πηγή δύναμης για αυτό το ιστολόγιο.

Θα συμφωνήσω μαζί της πως αυτή η ιστορία είναι πολύ καλή για να υπάρχει μόνον στην Ελληνική γλώσσα. Την Ελληνική της έκδοση θα την βρείτε εδώ.

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