The Gift-Part 5-Reminiscing

The Gift-Part 5-Reminiscing

The scoot home took a long time, and Morty deliberately kept Skye out of hyper-drive. He drove slowly to keep the little tree from tearing off. They talked as he drove.

“The farmer planted me as a seed eight years ago. I became a sapling quickly, and was transplanted into a new field.”

Connie jabbered away as Morty drove.

“Farmer Jim re-planted me again when I reached sapling stage. He put me into the field where his great, great, great, great-grandfather grew up. I went thirsty during the drought, and the hot summer nearly fried my needles. I liked winter best. I loved when the snow covered my boughs and they drooped to the ground.”

“I’ve been a Guardian Angel since the beginning of time,” said Morty. “My duty is to watch over Brad. I love watching kids the best.”

“My favorite job is to take care of birds. The cardinals and chickadees picked me this year. They built their nests deep in my boughs to hide it from predators.  I couldn’t believe how many trips they made with string, and twigs from all over the farm. Red Cardinal and his wife Rosy brought the pieces one by one. Rosy wove them into place, and pasted it all together with mud from the pond.”

“I loved to watch the Cardinals fly back and forth to feed their babies. They slept between meals, but made a lot of noise when they woke up. The kids chirped loudly until a parent came with food. One day, a cat came into my field. Rosy covered the nest with her body, and spread her wings to hide them. Red buzzed the cats’ ears to get his attention away from the babies. I dropped my boughs over the nest to give them more protection. Everything became very still while the cat was there. All the trees around me watched him stalk; his head was low, and his shoulders in a crouch. After what seemed like an eternity of stillness, the cat finally wandered off.”

Morty arrived home after dark. He untied Connie’s branches and set him upright into a bucket of water.

“Tomorrow,” he said, “I will place you into a tree stand, and dress you for the birthday party. Now it is time for all of us to rest.”

To be continued . . .

THE GIFT-PART 4-Getting Home

THE GIFT-Part 4-Getting Home

“This won’t hurt a bit,” said Morty. He pushed and pulled the saw back and forth through Connie’s sap filled trunk in rapid motions. Seconds later, Connie fell onto the spot where the rabbit huddled at night to stay warm. The empty birds’ nest clung to his branches.

Morty saw the rabbit hiding under a nearby tree, “Well, Mr. Rabbit, come home with me. I’ll keep you warm.”

The rabbit jumped out. “Will you take care of me the way Connie did?”

“Yes,” said Morty, “come with me.” Morty hadn’t finished talking to the rabbit when the cardinal, the sparrow, and the chickadee appeared from nowhere and circled around his head.

“Will you take care of us too?”

“Sure,” he said. “Come with me. We will have a great time.”

“Hold on tight, Connie, I have to drag you to the wagon.” They left a track through the needles on the ground as Morty pulled Connie behind him. They stopped in front of the tall Balsam for a rest.
“I can see that you found the perfect tree,” said the Balsam.

“Yes,” said Morty, “thank you very much. I couldn’t have done it without your expert directions.”

“Have a very Merry Christmas,” replied Balsam, “I wish I could be going with you.”

Farmer Jim came and found them. He helped Morty lift Connie onto the hay wagon.

“I never thought about how I would bring a tree home on my scooter,” he said.

“Don’t worry,” said Farmer Jim, “I will help you get the tree onto your scooter. I have to help everyone who comes here.  I have lots of experience with that.”

The tractor stopped in front of the shed next to the barn. Farmer Jim slid Connie into the wrapping machine, and pushed the button. A big wheel started circling around Connie. The noisy machine pulled cord around the branches, and squeezed them tightly into Connie’s trunk. When the noise stopped, Connie was much thinner than before.

Morty carried Connie to his scooter, and just stared. He could not see how to load him. The compartment was only big enough to hold a picnic lunch and some tools. The scooter was smooth all over. It didn’t have anything sticking out to tie a rope around.

“What am I going to do?”  Morty placed the tree against the side of the scooter. “Nope, that won’t work,” he said. Next, he laid Connie onto the seat. He fit nicely along the top and hanging over the end, but Morty would have to sit on top of him to drive.

“I don’t like that either. I know, I’ll sit and hold him between my legs.” He held Connie upright between his arms. “That is worse because I can not see to drive with Connie in my face.”

Farmer Jim finally came out and tied Connie to the seat.

“You will have to sit on him,” he told Morty.”

“Okay, but I don’t like it, come on kids hop on.”

The bunny jumped on and huddled by his feet, and the birds found secret openings in the branches to hide in.

“I’ll go slow,” said Morty.

“Good, I don’t want you to lose me after all that fuss.”

Morty drove Sky-scooter slowly and silently. The only sound came from Connie. He was singing Happy Birthday.

To be continued , , , ,

The Gift-Part 3-The Deal

THE GIFT-Part 3-The Deal

“I’m glad to meet you,” said the little tree. “My name is Connie, short for Coniferous. How can I help you?

“I want you to be my gift to Jesus.”

“I can’t do that, my work is to provide a home for the birds, and to shelter the rabbit that sleeps under my boughs. This summer, I had three families living in my branches. What will they do without me to shelter them?”

“The Boss will take care of them,” said Morty, “besides, there are many trees in the forest to help them. It is a great honor to do something special for Jesus’ birthday.”

“What do I have to do?”

“Let me take you home and decorate you for Christmas.”

Connie hesitated a bit, “If I choose to accept, then I am giving myself totally to the Baby Jesus. I can only stay alive as long as the sap in my branches will hold my needles.”

“I know that,” said Morty. “I picked you because you are magnificent, and I want to please God’s Son.  After we finish dressing you, I know you will make Jesus smile.”

“How will you decorate me?”

“I will lay strings of colorful lights on your boughs, and hang ornaments to reflect the light onto your needles My friends will string popcorn beads, painted pine cones, icicles, and snowflakes on your branches. We will put a crystal star on your top stem. You will look stunning. I’ll play Christmas carols to get into the spirit of Christmas. Then, after Christmas is over, I will use your branches to warm my house. Please do it.”

Connie agreed that pleasing Jesus on his day was important. He knew that Christmas was special. This was his chance to do something he could not do if he remained in the forest. If he stayed, he would grow big and tall and head for the sawmill.

After a long pause, Connie said, “It will be my honor to be your gift to Jesus.

To be continued . . .

The Gift-Part 2-Morty Pops the Question

Farmer Jim stopped in the field he was harvesting. Morty hopped off with the saw in his hand, and began to search.

My tree has to be perfect, he thought. It has to be shapely, and full, with branches all around. It cannot be too big because my room is small. Morty wandered through the rows of trees. Most of them were already five to six feet tall. Many had bare spots, and deformed branches. With so many trees, picking the right one was not easy.

“They all looked perfect from the air,” he said out loud. “They looked beautiful, but at ground level, they all have defects.”

He stopped in front of a Blue Spruce to ask for help.

“Please help me find the tree I need,” he said to a tree.  “I want one that is as tall as I am, but it can’t be too wide. My tree Has to have be shaped like a cone without bare spots. ”

“I was exactly like that three years ago.”

“So was I,” answered another spruce.

Morty kept walking up and down row after row of trees. He finally stopped in front of a very tall Balsam tree.

“Can you help me?”

“What do you want?

“I’m looking for the perfect tree to give Jesus for Christmas.”

“I can see the tree you want from here. Follow this road next to me. Count off twenty rows, turn left, and count another five trees. There, in the center of a small clearing you will find the tree you want.”

“Thanks,” said Morty. He took the Balsam’s directions, and counted as he walked. When he reached number twenty, he turned left and counted five more. There, in the center of a small clearing stood a beautiful blue-green spruce tree.  It was perfect.

I can’t believe it, he thought. Morty was speechless. He walked around the tree, looking for bare spots; there were none.

“It is as tall as I am, and it is shaped like a perfect cone.” He circled the tree over, and over, looking, and thinking, this tree will make a perfect present for Jesus. He examined the tree from all angles. He couldn’t find a single flaw.

He finally broke his silence, and spoke.

“Hi, I’m Morty Angel, would you like to be my gift to Baby Jesus?”

The Gift, Chapter One-Tree Farm

THE GIFT-Chapter One-Tree Farm

“There is the farm,” said Morty to himself. “Look at all those trees.”

He came to the sign: Covert Tree Farm, Christmas Trees for Sale. Morty slowed Sky-scooter, and made a sharp right turn into the opening between the trees. The gravel drive wound through a grove of spruce trees. The tall trees shaded the forest floor, and kept it dark.  Occasionally, a bird flitted from tree to tree and sang a sweet song. A beam of sunshine peeked through. God is shining a spotlight on me he thought. The ferns under the spotlight were lime green surrounded by dark green in the shade.

“These twists and turns are fun,” he said to Sky. He talked to his scooter whenever he was alone. Morty steered through forest leaning one way, then the other. His curl swayed from side to side. He was anxious to find the perfect present for his Boss. An opening of bright light led into the meadow where the farmer lived.

He spotted the sign for parking, and another sign on the barn stated rules for cutting Christmas trees.

1. Cut the tree at the ground. Do not cut in the middle.

2. Use only the saw provided.

3. Bring your tree to the barn for wrapping.

4. Trees are $8.00 per foot.

Morty grabbed a saw and jumped onto the hay wagon behind the tractor. A cow mooed, and the horse whinnied in the barn. Chickens wandered all around the barnyard pecking for seed. He sat and looked around while he waited for the farmer.

Gosh, look at all those trees. They surround the entire pasture as far as I can see. He daydreamed while he sat waiting.

Farmer Jim raises trees. He sells some at Christmas, and takes the large ones to the lumber mill in the town. He plants replacement trees to keep the forest alive. It takes fifty years to grow a tree big enough to sell for lumber, and twelve years to grow a tree tall enough for Christmas.

Morty sat staring at the trees and talking to himself. I love coming to the tree farm. It is fun to explore the woods. The forest is beautiful, peaceful, quiet, and majestic. I talk to them and they talk to me. When we are alone I hug them.

Farmer Jim had a secret grove of old trees. He never cut these trees nor did his father, grandfather, or great-grandfather. His great-grandfather told him that they were there when he came to the farm in 1875. Some of them were two hundred feet tall. Morty discovered the grove last year, and fell in love with the old trees. His favorite was over two hundred years old. It lived through much of the history of our country. The big tree was a teenager when the very first settlers moved to the valley from the east.

I have to find a tree to give to baby Jesus on his birthday. I will invite my friends to help decorate, and make it special. The hay wagon jerked forward, and broke his thoughts. He was on his way to find the perfect tree.

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