The Little Pine tree Who Wanted New Leaves
A little pine tree grew in the woods. Its leaves were long, thin green needles. But the little tree did not like its needles.
"I wish that I had beautiful leaves," it thought. "I wish that my leaves were different from any of the other trees. I wish I had leaves of shining gold."
The Angel of the trees was walking through the woods and heard the little pine tree. In the morning the little tree had leaves of shining gold.
"I am so beautiful,” thought the pine tree. My leaves sparkle in the sun! Now I shall always be happy!"
Foolish little pine tree! It was not happy for long. In the night a man came to the woods with a bag. He picked off all the gold leaves, and took them home with him. Then the poor little tree had no leaves. "What will I do?" it cried. "I will not wish for gold leaves again."
"How pretty glass leaves would look! They would sparkle in the sun. The man would not take them. I wish that I could have leaves of glass."
That night the Angel of the trees walked through the woods again. In the morning, the little pine tree had glass leaves. They sparkled in the bright sunshine. The little tree was happy all the morning. But in the afternoon the clouds became black, and the rain came down.
The wind blew every glass leaf to the ground where each one broke. The pine tree stood naked. It had no leaves on its branches.
"I will not wish again to be better than my neighbors," cried the pine tree. "If I had big green leaves like them I should be happy." Then the tree went to sleep.
Once more the Angel of the trees walked through the woods. When it was morning the pine looked just like the other trees. It had large green leaves.
But the big leaves looked so good and juicy that an old goat came along. He ate every one for his dinner.
"Oh no!" cried the little tree. "A man took my leaves of gold. The wind broke my leaves of glass. A goat ate my large green leaves. I wish that I had my long, green needles again!"
The Angel of the trees was listening to all that the little pine tree said. The next day the birds flew to the little tree, and they were happy to see that it was covered again with long needles. "Now, we may build our nests here," they said.
"Yes," said the tree. "I will hide your nests with my needles, and in the winter I will keep you safe and warm.
"Gold leaves, glass leaves, and large green leaves were very fine; but nothing is so good for a little pine tree as its own long needles."