The Gift-Part 7-Final Touches

The Gift-Part 7-Final Touches

“Be careful with the tinsel, said Morty. “Hang each strand carefully. I don’t want Connie to look like the nest in the top branches.”

Morty placed a shiny gold ornament into the nest. As Red, Chick, and Spare hung the tinsel they chirped Silent Night. When the last strand was in place, they landed on Morty’s curl and admired their creation. Connie was an outstanding gift to the Baby Jesus on His birthday. Morty turned on the lights, and Connie came to life.

“I feel so wonderful,” said Connie, “you made me look beautiful. I hope Baby Jesus likes me.”

Morty handed the rabbit a bright red cloth, “put this around the tree stand to add the final touch.” Rabbit dragged the red cloth under Connie’s boughs where he had spent so many nights out of harms way, and worked the cover around the base.

“We have to put up the nativity next.” Morty pulled a small table to the tree. He wanted the nativity to be next to Connie where all of his friends would see it. Rabbit wiped the table clean, and covered it with Morty’s best tablecloth. The birds waited nearby. Each had a figure, ready to place. Morty set the stable in place.

“Okay, now you can finish by putting the figures down.”

Each bird hovered gently with a figure in its beak, and lowered it to the table. They handled each Mary, Joseph, and Jesus and all of the characters of the scene with special care and gentleness.

Morty put the last tiny white lamb down, “here you are little Shepard.” The nativity was complete.

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 (A serial, part 4)

THE GIFT (A serial, part 4)

Morty cut down the beautiful spruce, with the empty birds’ nest, and found the spot where the rabbit used to stay warm.

“Well, Mr. Rabbit,” he said, “come home with me. I’ll keep you warm.” The rabbit jumped out from under another tree and said,

“Will you take care of me the way Connie did?”

“Yes,” said Morty, “come with me.” Then the cardinal and the sparrow, and the chickadee all flew around his head.

“Will you take care of us too?”

“Sure!” said Morty, “come with me we are going to have a great time.”

Morty pulled Connie through the grove to where farmer Jim would find them. He began to wonder about how he would get the tree home on his scooter. Although Connie is a little tree he is as tall as Morty, and his branches spread out much wider than Morty. Just then, Farmer Jim came by with the wagon and picked them up. Farmer Jim told Morty not to worry because he would help tie the tree to his scooter.

In the shed, next to the barn, Farmer Jim placed Connie into his wrapping machine. The machine wrapped cord around the tree branches, pulling them tightly into the trunk. When the farmer finished wrapping him, Connie was much thinner than before.

Morty carried Connie to his scooter but could not figure out how to load him on the scooter. The trunk on the scooter was only big enough to hold a picnic lunch and some tools, so Connie could not ride in the trunk. Before Farmer Jim came out of the barn to help, Morty placed the tree against the side of the scooter. The side of the scooter was smooth, and nothing was sticking out to hold the rope. Next, Morty put him on the seat. He fit nicely lying along the top and hanging over the end of the scooter, but Morty would have to sit on top of him to drive.

Morty did not like that, so he tried holding Connie upright between his legs and arms as he sat on the scooter. This was even worse because he could not see with the tree in his face.

In the end, Farmer Jim tied the tree to the seat,

and Morty sat on it. The bunny jumped on and huddled by his feet, and the birds all perched on the branches. Connie hummed the tune to Happy Birthday as they took off.

To be continued , , , ,

The Gift (A serial, part three)

THE GIFT (A serial, part three)

The little tree answered, “My name is Connie, short for Coniferous. How can I be so special? My work is to provide a house for the birds, and to shelter the rabbit that sleeps under my boughs. This past summer I had three families of birds living in my branches. What will they do without me to provide for them?”

“The Boss will take care of them,” said Morty, “besides, the many trees of the forest will help them. It is a great honor to do something special for Jesus’ birthday. Then, after Christmas is over, I will use your branches to warm my house. Please do it.”

Connie hesitated a bit and said, “If I choose to accept, then I am giving myself totally to the Baby Jesus. I will live only as long as the sap within my branches will support my needles.”

“I realize that,” said Morty, “that’s why I picked you. You are magnificent and when I am finished dressing you, I know you will please Jesus, and make him smile. I will have my friends string popcorn beads, painted pine cones, icicles, and snowflakes on your branches. I will lay strings of colorful lights on your boughs. Near the lights, I will hang crystal ornaments to reflect the light onto the needles of your branches. On your top stem, I will place a crystal star. You will look stunning. I’ll play Christmas carols and sing while I’m decorating so we can get into the spirit of Christmas.”

Connie agreed that pleasing Jesus on his day was important. He knew that Christmas day was special. This was his chance to do something he could not do if he remained in the forest and grew up for the wood mill harvest. Finally, Connie said,
“It will be an honor to be your gift to Jesus.

To be continued . . . .

The Gift (A serial, part 2)

THE GIFT (A serial, part 2)

Farmer Jim drove the tractor, and Morty sat on the trailer. When they reached the field Morty jumped off. With a saw in his hand he began to search for the perfect tree.

He wanted a shapely tree with branches all around. It could not be too big because his room was small. Morty wandered among the trees searching. Most were already five to six feet high or taller. Many had bare spots and deformed branches. With so many trees picking one was not easy. On the way to the farm, when he flew over the trees on his scooter, they all looked beautiful, but at ground level, they did not look as perfect.

Morty began asking the trees for help. “Please help me find the tree I need,” he said. “I want it to be as tall as I am. It must not be too wide. My tree will have a triangular shape, and full branches all around.” The trees responded by saying they were once exactly like that, two or three years ago.

After searching the forest for a long time, Morty stopped in front of a very tall tree.

The high tree said that he could see over the tops of all the other trees, and could see the tree that Morty wanted. “Follow this line of trees next to me,” the big tree said, “count off twenty trees, turn left, then count another five trees. There, in the center of a small clearing will be the perfect tree.”

“Thanks,” said Morty. He took the tall tree’s directions, and counted the trees 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 spruce tree.

It was blue-green, and perfect. Morty stopped and stood still. He was speechless. He walked around the tree, looking for bare spots. He found none. It was as tall as he was too. The shape was a near-perfect cone. As he walked around the tree, he began talking to himself, “This tree will make a perfect present for my boss’s birthday party.” He admired the tree from all angles and could not find a single flaw. He finally broke his silence and spoke. “I’m Morty Angel, would you like to be my gift to Baby Jesus this year?”

To be continued . . .

The Gift (A serial, part one)

The Covert tree farm stretches across the countryside with pine trees of all sizes. Morty Angel can tell the age of the trees by how tall they are. The trees along the road to the entrance are a good example. Field number one has twelve foot trees. Next, is a field of ten’s then a field eight’s. Occasionally, a field was bare with only stumps protruding from the ground.

Morty came to the sign Covert Tree Farm, Christmas Trees for Sale,next to a road that led into a grove of very old spruce trees.

The tall trees shaded the forest floor, and kept it dark. The driveway was curvy, and made from gravel. Morty could hear birds flitting between trees. Beams of sunshine peeked through the trees. They looked like spotlights shining through onto the dark forest floor. Very little vegetation grew, except ferns; they require little light to survive. Morty steered his Skye Scooter through the forest over the twisty road. He was anxious to find a tree that would serve as his gift to the Boss. He saw an opening of intense light that led into a glorious meadow. This is where the tree farmer lived in a log home.

Another sign announced that parking was in the field behind the barn. A sign on the barn stated rules for cutting Christmas trees.

Rule One: Cut the tree at the ground. Do not cut in the middle of a tree.

Rule two: Use only the saw provided.

Rule Three: Bring your tree to the barn for wrapping.

Prices are $8.00 per foot.

Next to the barn, a tractor hitched to a hay wagon was running and ready to carry visitors to the cutting field. A cow mooed, and a horse whinnied from inside the barn. Chickens wandered freely around the horse and cow in the stalls, and in the barnyard pecking for seed. All around the barnyard meadow, there were trees and hills for as far as one can see.

Farmer Jim lives on the tree farm. He raises trees for a living. He sells some trees to visitors at Christmas, and he takes the very large trees to the lumber mill in the town. Farmer Jim always plants replacement trees after cutting a field. In this way, the forest continues to refresh itself. It takes forty to fifty years to grow a tree large enough to sell for lumber. It only takes ten to twelve years to grow a tree large enough for Christmas.

Morty loved scooting out to the Covert Tree farm. It is a beautiful place, peaceful, quiet, and majestic. Morty also loved to talk to the trees. When he was alone in the forest, he would hug the large ones. Farmer Jim never told anyone, but he had one very large field of old trees on his farm. He never cut these trees nor did his father, grandfather or his great-grandfather. Farmer Jim’s great-grandfather told him that the trees in this field were on the farm when he bought it. The trees in that field were very big and old. Some were more than two hundred feet tall, and the trunks were so large that the farmer could not stretch his arms around the base. Morty really loved these trees. The largest tree was several 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.

Today, Morty came to the tree farm because he wants to surprise the baby Jesus on his birthday with a spruce tree. Morty will decorate the tree to make it special. He parked his scooter behind the barn, read the rules, picked up a saw, and rode out to the field of trees on the hay wagon.

To be continued….

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