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The Tree and the Vine - a Short Story for Kids
In a jungle, like those found in parts of South America, there was a large old tree. On the base of this large old tree, there was a thorny vine. It didn't grow big at all and mostly used the trunks of other trees to reach towards the sky and get the much need sunlight, on which all plants depend to make their food.
The large tree didn't mid this thorny vine using its trunk to climb up. Yet some other younger trees looked at it as if mocking it. “You are being used, why do you let this thorny, ugly vine climb all over you” It is nothing but a parasite.” They often said.
The old tree wasn't bothered by its tree neighbors’ comments. After all, it was an old tree and had seen everything there was to see in this part of the jungle. The vine had heard the younger trees’ comments and felt ashamed that it had to use someone else’s trunk to get up.
One fine day, as fine days go, the vine said to its host, “I am sorry that I cannot get up to the sky without using your trunk, I hope that I don’t bother you and would like to thank you.” The old tree looked own on its tenant and in a calm gentle voice said to him “It doesn't bother me. Even if you do not realize it, I need you as much as you need me.”
The vine, being a young vine, did not really understand how it could actually help this large, old grandiose tree in any way, but nevertheless felt comfort that it accepted its presence on it trunk. It said to itself “One day I will repay this old tree’s gesture and will find a way of helping it.”
The other younger trees never stopped harassing the vine and thought badly about its older host. They thought that since they were trees, they should not need to lend a hand to any other creature. After all, they were tall, produced fruits and flowers and could always see the sky from their tops. In their minds they were the kings among all other vegetation in the jungle, without them the jungle would not exist.
Some years past, as years do, and the friendship grew between this lowly vine and its majestic host while the other trees were not so young any more. Soon they found themselves with young little vine guests crawling up their trunks. They were really upset and blamed the old tree and hated its thorny guest.
“This is your entire fault, you let this ugly vine climb all over you and now it has produced all these little ones that will soon be climbing all over us. It’s your entire fault.” They kept insisting. To which the old tree paid no attention, for it knew better.
Some months later, a swarm of wood eating pigs’, the kind that east the bark and kills a tree, came into their part of the jungle. These pigs had large tusks and priced the wood from which these trees were made. They loved scratching themselves on it, they loved chewing their bark and often severely damaged these trees to the point that some eventually fell off and died.
The rest of the trees were terrified once they gazed upon the large hoard of pigs and were at a lost. “We are all going to die, there is no hope. what will we do!” They lamented. Some even noticed the large old tree did not even flinch; it didn't seem worried at all. “Have you not seen this large hoard of wood eating pigs? “Surely you must be worried for your life.” They said.
The old grand tree just smiled and said replied “You have constantly complained about my vine friend without taking the time to realize that nature creates everything for a reason, just wait and see, just wait and see.”
The large hoard of pigs quickly came upon the trees and when they tried to scratch, or chew or even get near them, they felt the sting of the vine’s thorns. In fact they were so bothered by them that they left just as quickly as they came without even touching one single tree in this part of the jungle.
Needless to say, all the trees were happy and shouted with joy. “Now we realize why you left the vine climb up your trunk, the thorns have kept us safe. We will never again mock that which we don’t know."
From that day forth, all trees in this part of the jungle welcomed the vines and their thorns, each helping the other in its own way.
We may not always understand why something happens or how we may depend on each other, but one thing remains true; we should never mock that which we don’t know.
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© 2013 Luis E Gonzalez