THE LITTLE PINE TREE

GERMAN FAIRY TALES

Once a little pine tree grew in a valley.

It was covered with needles that were always beautiful and green.

But it did not like the needles.

The little tree said:

“All the other trees in the woods have beautiful leaves, but I have only needles. I do not like needles. I wish I could have leaves. But I should like to be more beautiful than the other trees. I should not like green leaves. I should like gold leaves.”

The little tree went to sleep.

A fairy happened to be passing and said to herself:

“This little pine tree would like gold leaves. It shall have them.”

Next morning the tree woke up and found that it was covered with leaves of shining gold.

“How beautiful!” said the tree. “No other tree has gold leaves!”

Soon a man came by with a bag.

He saw the gold leaves.

He ran to the little pine tree and began to pull them off and to put them into his bag.

He pulled them all off and carried them away.

The little pine tree was bare.

“O,” cried the little tree, “I don’t want gold leaves any more, for men will take them away. I want something beautiful that they will not take away. I think I should like glass leaves.”

The little tree went to sleep.

The fairy came by again and said:

“This little tree wants glass leaves. It shall have them.”

Next morning the tree woke up and found that it was covered with leaves of shining glass.

How they shone in the sun!

“These leaves are much better than gold leaves,” said the little tree. “They are very beautiful.”

But a wind came down the valley.

It blew and it blew.

It blew the glass leaves together and broke them all to pieces.

The little pine tree was bare again.

“I don’t want glass leaves,” said the little tree. “I want leaves that will not break. Perhaps green leaves are best, after all, but I want leaves. I don’t want needles.”

The little tree went to sleep.

The fairy came by again and said:

“This little tree wants green leaves. It shall have them.”

Next morning when the tree woke up it was covered with green leaves.

“This is fine!” said the tree. “Now I am like the other trees, but more beautiful.”

Soon a goat came down the valley.

“These leaves look good,” said the goat.

So he ate them all up.

The little pine tree was bare again.

“I think I don’t want leaves after all,” said the little pine tree. “Gold leaves are beautiful, but men carry them away. Glass leaves are beautiful, but the wind breaks them. Green leaves are beautiful, but goats eat them. My old green needles were best. I wish I could have them back.”

The little pine tree went to sleep.

The fairy came by again, and said:

“This little tree has found out that needles were best for it after all. It shall have them back.”

Next morning the tree woke up and had the old green needles again.

Then it was happy.

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