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A small fir tree grew on the edge of a vast forest. On one side, the little tree could look at the big trees in the forest that were much taller.
Close by stood an old oak tree. It had a huge trunk and a mighty crown. It was very proud of its size and was well known throughout the forest.
Many animals sought the protection of the old oak. Woodpeckers built their nests and cared for its bark. Squirrels raced through its branches like a playground and ate its acorns when they ripened.
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Wild boar, mice, and many other animals relied on the oak tree when its acorns were ripe. Birds also lived in the upper part of the crown and had a wonderful view over the whole forest.
The old oak let all this attention get the better of it. It looked down upon the smaller trees as though they were less important. It had never even noticed the little fir tree. It only talked to the big trees nearby, like the linden or the beech.
The little fir tree sometimes listened to them admiring themselves and felt very small and insignificant. It tried to stretch to catch a few extra rays of sunlight so it could grow taller but the oak and other big trees took most of the light. It was the same when the rain came and the little fir tree could barely catch any raindrops.
Fortunately, on the other side of the little fir tree was a clearing where it was already taller than the nearby bushes and shrubs. It enjoyed the view of the open field and caught many rays of sunlight here.
So it went, year after year, and the little fir tree adjusted to its boring existence.
Then one day, something quite extraordinary happened. It was snowing when the little fir tree heard a loud noise. Then it heard children’s voices as a big tractor drove up.
“Daddy, look! That’s the most beautiful Christmas tree I’ve ever seen!” exclaimed a little girl with blonde braids and a red bobble hat.
Suddenly, many children were running around the little fir tree.
“Let’s take this one, please!” said another child. “It will be the most beautiful Christmas tree we have ever decorated!”
Their father now came over and said, “Yes, it has grown really beautifully. It shall be our festive tree this Christmas.”
The little fir tree didn’t know why it was getting so much attention or why the children had chosen it over the bigger trees in the forest. It would crown this family’s parlor for holy Christmas and be decorated, illuminated, and placed in the middle of the room to be admired.
All the big trees were paying attention now. The big old oak looked quite envious and the little Christmas tree felt quite happy as it was wrapped up to be brought home for Christmas.