(i) A very special tree

The Christmas tree is a tree with beautiful decorations and bright candles and it can bring much joy to so many. This, on the other hand, is a story of a living tree that grows near a front door.

The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tyre made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.

On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. Near the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. Opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.

“Oh, that’s my trouble tree,“ he replied. „I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again.“

“Funny thing is,“ he smiled, „when I come out in the morning to pick “em up, there ain’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.“

Author unknown – adapted by Resi Schwarzbauer, edited by Herta Uhlherr