A Story About Giving, Sacrifice and Finding One’s Happiness in Others: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

This wonderful story is considered, by some, as a metaphor for how nature keeps giving and giving and giving to us and we keep taking and taking and taking from her, ruthlessly and mercilessly.

There are also other interpretations of the story’s ‘message’, but either way, it is an eye-opener, delivered in a gentle fashion…

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Once there was a tree and she loved a little boy.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

And every day the boy would come and he would gather her leaves and make them into crowns and play king of the forest.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

He would climb up her trunk and swing from her branches and eat apples. And they would play hide-and-go-seek. And when he was tired, he would sleep in her shade. And the boy loved the tree very much. And the tree was happy.

The Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinThe Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Time went by. And the boy grew older. And the tree was often alone.

Then one day the boy came to the tree and the tree said, “Come, Boy, come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and eat apples and play in my shade and be happy.”

“I am too big to climb and play” said the boy. “I want to buy things and have fun. I want some money?”

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

“I’m sorry,” said the tree, “but I have no money. I have only leaves and apples. Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in the city. Then you will have money and you will be happy.”

And so the boy climbed up the tree and gathered her apples and carried them away. And the tree was happy.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

But the boy stayed away for a long time…. and the tree was sad.

And then one day the boy came back and the tree shook with joy and she said, “Come, Boy, climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and be happy.”

“I am too busy to climb trees,” said the boy. “I want a house to keep me warm,” he said. “I want a wife and I want children, and so I need a house. Can you give me a house?”

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

“I have no house,” said the tree. “The forest is my house, but you may cut off my branches and build a house. Then you will be happy.”

And so the boy cut off her branches and carried them away to build his house. And the tree was happy.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

But the boy stayed away for a long time. And when he came back, the tree was so happy she could hardly speak.

“Come, Boy,” she whispered, “come and play.”

“I am too old and sad to play,” said the boy. “I want a boat that will take me far away from here. Can you give me a boat?”

“Cut down my trunk and make a boat,” said the tree. “Then you can sail away… and be happy.”

And so the boy cut down her trunk and made a boat and sailed away. And the tree was happy, but not really.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

After a long time the boy came back again.

“I am sorry, Boy,” said the tree,” but I have nothing left to give you – My apples are gone.”

“My teeth are too weak for apples,” said the boy.

“My branches are gone,” said the tree. “You cannot swing on them – ”

“I am too old to swing on branches,” said the boy.

”My trunk is gone, “said the tree. “You cannot climb – ”

“I am too tired to climb” said the boy.

”I am sorry,” sighed the tree. “I wish that I could give you something…. but I have nothing left. I am just an old stump.”

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

I am sorry….” “I don’t need very much now,” said the boy. “Just a quiet place to sit and rest. I am very tired.”

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

“Well,” said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could, and “well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest.”

And the boy did. And the tree was happy.

The Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinIllustrated by Shel Silverstein – Buy The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Source: Readersdoor


 

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21 thoughts on “A Story About Giving, Sacrifice and Finding One’s Happiness in Others: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

  1. Reblogged this on beyondtheflow and commented:

    If you havent heard of a incredibly inspiring book called The Giving Tree by S hel Silverstein, read it. While it is usually seen as ametaphor for how humans exploit nature, I see it as a metaphor for motherhood…especially on my not so good days with the kids. Hope you enjoy it here xx Rowena

    Liked by 3 people

  2. yes, a metaphor for motherhood (the tree is a she), so Mother Nature works. Also as a metaphor for any parent asked to give and give, as our kids grow older and older, needing us in different ways. But I also find in this book an analogy to the ever-loving, ever-giving nature of God ‘s grace, and how God sustasins us throughout life, sacrificing all for us, and even bids us at the end of life to find our rest in Him–on the stump, which I see as the stump of Jesse, father of David, ultimately the father of Jesus. I have several copies of this book, and read it often to my hospice patients.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I was just thinking about this story yesterday when I was reminded yet again how important this lesson is and how it appears to be in the process of being forgotten again.

    Like

  4. I have mixed feelings about the message of this book. While one gives until they have nothing left to give, the other is happy to take until there is nothing left to take. The environmental message is strong; as is the one about looking after each other. I think the book is a great one to discuss in a group as individuals may see different aspects as important, depending on their viewpoints.

    Liked by 1 person

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