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Once, there was a tree…
And she loved a little boy.
And every day the boy would come
And he would gather her leaves
And make them into crowns and play king of the forest.
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.

But 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 thing and have fun. I want some money.
Can you give me some money?”
–”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 city. Then you will have money and you’ll be happy.”
And so the boy climbed up the tree and gathered her apples and carried them away.
And the tree was happy…

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 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 busy to climb trees,” said the boy. “I want a house to keep me warm”, he said. “I and want a wife and I want children, and so I need a house. Can you give me a house?”
–”I have no house”, said the tree. “The forest is my house”, said the tree. “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.
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 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.

And 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. 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”.
–”Well”, said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could, “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 end.

41 Responses to “The giving tree”

  1. Kamaren Hepworth Says:

    My mother used to read me this story when I was younger, and I absolutely loved it. This was, and still is my favorite book.

  2. Stacy Says:

    This makes me cry everytime i read it

  3. Matthew Bishop Says:

    I love this story

  4. Sirina Says:

    I really enjoyed not only reading the story but hearing it. It is not seen as something for older students but I actually think this can be a very simple or complex lesson depending on the maturity of the children. Nice!

  5. nahla Says:

    i love thees book :d

  6. nahla Says:

    the story make me cry every time i read it ohhh soo fantastiic :)

  7. viAlex Says:

    I might a lil’ bit late discover this beautiful story but still it’s touch my heart so much..we suppose not only asking for something instead of we must learn how to give back..

  8. loren joy dulatre Says:

    i love this story. i’m grade 6 in philippines.. this is my assignment…

  9. Emillio Says:

    This story was just aweful. what the hell was the moral of this, to grow up to be a selfish asshole when you get older?

  10. eliizaabbetttthhh (: Says:

    ive read this story about 100 times iitt was my my favorite as a little girl and still is and always will be i used to cry when i read this and sometimes i still do i love this story

  11. Barbara Spannaus Says:

    After raising 4 kids this story has full meaning for me.
    I am the old stump! Actually, I’m just one of the many happy old stumps.
    Although if I were to do it all over again, I would preserve a bit of myself in order to be self- sufficient, and I would emphasize to my children the value of LOVE and RESPECT… AND my parenting philosophy would be based on God’s Word.

  12. vincentrhoy Says:

    what can you say about the boy?

  13. Paula Says:

    ooohhhhh i love this story, is the best!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Nick Says:

    My mom would read this story to me when I was younger and I would cry ever single time. And I still do. The love between them is so strong.

  15. della Says:

    this is awesome! Just show’s how love can make all the difference in the world. that is real love…Love is Never wasted and the world could use a lot more of Love right now…

  16. Bree Says:

    This IS A GREAT story My teacher read this to me in 5th grade and from then it’s been my favorite book! But she criend when she read it to me..and it’s very emothinal Because I cried!!

  17. Jhen Says:

    I love this story so much..

  18. Steve Says:

    Isn’t the lesson here that while we may love someone so much, whether a child, a spouse, a friend, etc… That we must not give so much so as to be left with nothing for ourselves.

    The boy in this story simply asks, and accepts the sacrifice of the tree, over and over again. How many of us have people in our lives that do that very thing.

    We all have to keep something for ourselves, because if we simply give all of ourselves away, what’s left? For anyone…

    My 2 pennies…

  19. Bethany Says:

    Though I may be only 16, this is the best book I have ever read. It is also the only book I can read over and over again. This book taught me to lovae anything and anyone. I learned that giving makes you so much happyer then getting. when I think my little brother is ready I’m going to pull the book down from the shelf. He will love, this I know :) I just wish I learned the lesson sooner then I did, Because I would not have done all the wrong in my life. Some books are important to children so that they learn how to love, and give… this being one of them

  20. parisa Says:

    hello
    goodmorning
    I love this story very much
    and
    next day I will say this story for my classmate

  21. Patrick Noyes Says:

    Well back to that comment from Sirina. I am using this story for my Term paper in highschool. I dont think its a story that is ment for children, everybody can still learn from it. The only thing i need right now from this story is the reall Author. Could some one tell me please

  22. Dang Says:

    @Patrick Noyes

    The author is Shel Silverstein, which you can find in the “About” section of this website.

  23. Marijo F>Begonia Says:

    My 4year-old kid was really touched and cried when i first read the story to her.She said,The Giving Tree book would be her most favorite ever.Thank you and GOD bless us all!

  24. andrea siju Says:

    this happended in my life

  25. ladyny Says:

    Im 32 years old and thank God someone introduced me this book in my life.
    Actually it’s my real marriage life; after my firts therapy with my psychology and after he hear my marriage life. He only ask me one thing CAN you please read The giving tree
    When I did I start crying and I realize that not matter who YOU love you can’t just give to someone everything that you have because if you give and give and at the end will be enty and unhappy person.
    We always need to have a moral and respect for our self because if we woundn’t not one else it will

  26. sultana Says:

    this is indeed a great story . i first heard it when i was little . at a church retreat. the prist who read it to us was the nicest person . he passed away soon after . but that story remaind in my heart and always think of him when i hear it .

  27. suzie Says:

    ;_____;

  28. SAMEERAH Says:

    I first heard of this book years ago from my minister’s daughter. She mentioned this book to me because at that time in my life she knew something that i need to know. Her opinion was exactly as the book says.No matter how much you love someone you must first love yourself and know yourself. We all must live with our own personal boundaries which comes with the knowing and the loving of self…If not even the ones that you love, be it they love you or not will take advantage of you uninhibited giving. whether they mean to or not and yo will be left with nothing.

  29. angel Says:

    My grandma hates this book and she hates the boy

  30. Deuce Says:

    Even though I recognize now that this story is probably borderline enviro-propaganda. And that the boy represents Man who seeks only to selfishly take. And that the tree represents nature, his benefactor and willing victim. I still just love the simple beauty of the story and am moved by it every time I read it. A timeless classic and a beautiful story however you interpret the message.

  31. sadkitten Says:

    Story of my life. :(
    Love this book.

  32. sophia Says:

    this story is the best… sometimes when someone gives you something the person expects a repay, he/she shouldn’t be like that when you give ask not for reward… but sometimes giving someone something and sharing it with your friends that would be a true gift… (sorry if you don’t understand… Oh Yeah! BTW it means by the way this is my assignment I’m A GRADE 6 student I’m graduating!!! yehey!!!

  33. Jaclyn Says:

    It’s fun to see how other perceive things. This story has always managed to bring tears to my eyes. To me, this story is about unconditional love. Especially when the book was dedicated to the author’s mom. Moms are the perfect example. Mothers sacrifice a lot for their child. And even though many people don’t have that mother in their life, they still have someone else who loves them just as much. Whether it be a sibling, father, friend, cousin, husband, uncle, aunt, grandma, grandpa, ect.
    That’s why I think the author used a tree for the character. Because the tree could be a metaphor for that special person in YOUR life.

    I think the moral of the story is that unconditional love lasts forever. It’s a lovely reminder that you shouldn’t take that for granted.

  34. eloise Says:

    I read this when I was 13th, now I am 18 and i’m going to college! I know 5 years aren’t much but actually you change a lot, but this story reminds me that no matter what we are going to be old sometime and we need someone to love us not for what we have but for who we are <3
    best story ever

  35. Heather Says:

    I am in college to get my Associates Degree in Applied Science for Drug and Alcohol Counseling. Reading this story is part of my assignment, and this story did not make me cry but I see why they had us read it. The tree wants to remember him as the “boy” he was, despite being a man. The man greed was his drug and this tree was his supplier. Co-dependency is not a good thing on anyone’s part.

  36. Sophie Says:

    @Heather…That is the most ridiculous interpretation of this story. Talk about stripping life and art of all its beauty. Are you attending the Ayn Rand School for Drug and Alcohol Counseling or something?

  37. Gibson Says:

    I really enjoy reading this sweet story

  38. Smith Says:

    You know, when you do you’ll eventually figure out this boy is taking and not caring. He uses the tree to get what he desires.

  39. Kevin Says:

    The first time I read this story was after my mother had passed away in 2007. I was 38 years old. I thought the boy was the most awful human being that there had ever been a story written about. I was repelled by his greed and insensitivity. Why could he not see that the tree loved him? Well, maybe I am that boy. I have since learned of the many selfless acts that my mother performed to allow me to have the life that I have today. As her “boy”. I hope she is happy and proud of the man I have become.

  40. Patricia Says:

    I absolutely abhor this book. I think it sends the message to take, take, take & the “giver” should just be happy being taken advantage of. Ridiculous book, ridiculous message.

  41. ace Says:

    i just simply love the story…

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