Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Rock and the Tree Fable

A while back ago, my brother sent me this story he wrote on a whim for spanish college class (originally in spanish) with the suggestion that I might share it with my son before bed time.  I always like a good fable to tell my kids at night so I proceeded to read it and loved it- except... for the ending.  It ended with a astronomical storm and mass destruction of all the characters in the story.  I didn't think that would be quite appropriate for a three year old (what do you think?) and I was quite disgusted by the catastrophic ruin of the characters (leave it to my brother to write a gory ending).  So I adapted the ending to include something I thought was a more gentle climax and even portrayed a sense of moral value.  My 13 year old sister, Matilda, helped me make a few illustrations. I definitely had a good time reading this to my son.  Go ahead- take a peek ;)

Once upon a time there was a small tree sitting next to a very big rock.  The big rock looked down and laughed at the small tree and told it that he would never be as big as him.  The small tree looked up at the big rock and replied in a small voice.  “One day I will be as tall as a mountain, just wait and see.”  

Many years went by and the tree grew to be big and tall.  The rock looked up and saw how the tree was now as big as a mountain.  He waited a long time then he said, “You are bigger than me, but I am very old.  I am ancient.  So old and ancient that every rock you see in the valley once was part of me.  I have more children and family than you could ever have.”  The tree replied in a very young voice; “One day I will have more children and family than you, just wait and see.”  

Many years went by and the tree let fall thousands of seeds which all eventually grew to become a forest.  The rock looked around and saw how there was now a forest.  He was silent for a very long time then he said to the tree; “I am very strong, I am the strongest thing on the earth, you will never be as strong as me.”  The tree replied in a weak voice, “I can grow stronger then you, just wait and see.”  

The tree began to slowly grow its roots under the rock.  One day when the roots were strong enough, the tree lifted up the big rock.  The big, strong, wise, tree then looked down on the big rock and laughed.  He told the rock he was greater than the rock had ever been.  The rock was quiet for a very long time- a very, long time.  

One day the rock spoke.  He told the tree, “anything can grow to become big and strong and have lots of children, but the greatest things were born big and strong.  Just you wait and see.”  The tree just chuckled at the rock

Many years went by.  One year it was very dry and there was a thunderstorm.  

Lighting cracked across the sky and the rain came down like a falling river.  The rain pounded hard onto the rock's surface and the rock let out a low sounding grumble.  The now large and looming tree looked down at the rock and saw the painful gouges and rivets the rain inflicted on the rock's surface.  The tree reached out with his branch to cover and shield the rock from the oncoming downpour.
              But soon after that, the gushing water began to loosen the soil around the tree's roots.  The tree felt its grip in the ground weaken and its trunk start to sway in the wind.  The rock looked up at the bending trunk and somewhere deep inside himself, he felt a stir of concern for the great tree.  With a determined weight, the large rock burrowed himself into the ground pressing the tree's roots into deeper soil.  
The tree held.  The rock stayed still.  And together, they managed the storm.

Years later the tree grew feeble and the rock decrepit.  But the two grew old together.  Instead laughing at each other, they learned to laugh together at any unusual thing that might happen in the forest.
They watched over the valley and enjoyed the vast expanse of their their shade on the forest floor.  The two were happy at last- all because of a friendship born on the night of a giant storm.

Feel free to print this story and read it to your child at bedtime ;)
Happy day!


Papgena Made It said...

I like your end better! ;)
And your sister is an artist too!

Liz said...

As always, your graphics astound me!

And I love that you are continuing your writing quest!

Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek said...

That was beautiful! I love your ending, too!

hot girl said...


the sleepy time gal said...

i love the illustrations and the story. beautiful.


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