A The stream seemed to sing as it beautiful rushed over the pebbles in its weeping bed, and joyously watered the willow stood thirsty flowers that stood on its in a garden. banks. Often, the weeping willow His drooping would complain to the babbling branches were a stream. fresh green, and A kind shepherd boy often would sway grace- found shade under the weeping fully whenever the willow’s branches, while his sheep breeze blew. Every- grazed in the field nearby and one loved the tree— drank from the stream. The shep- that is, except for the herd boy noticed the tree’s sad- tree himself. ness, and tried to cheer him up by “If only I were tall- singing and playing his flute. er,” the weeping willow But nothing worked. The would say. “And if only weeping willow only grew more my branches stretched miserable. His branches hung high into the sky, rather lower to the ground. Finally, the than down to the earth! And shepherd boy gave up; it was no if only I bore fruit! I’m so use- use trying to make the weeping less!” willow happy when he refused The weeping willow lived to think of anything but his sup-near a crystal-blue stream. posed misery.
The shepherd boy visited the how I cantree less and less often, and finally help this poorstopped visiting altogether. child. Soon people started to call the The littletree “Weepy,” because he was al- girl made herways depressed and unhappy. And way slowly to-Weepy, too, grew weary with loneli- wards the weepingness. If only he could see the cheery willow and stoodshepherd boy again! Now life was before his droopingtruly sad for him. branches and leaves, Then one day, something took shivering and fright-place that changed Weepy’s out- ened.look. A raging storm pelted the Protect her fromsurrounding hills and valley where the storm, the weepingWeepy stood. The wind blew fierce- willow heard God whisper.ly and rain poured down. In the Your branches and leavesmidst of the storm, Weepy saw a lit- will keep out the wind andtle girl stumbling through the pour- rain until she is found.ing rain. He could hear her crying as The tree obeyed, andshe tried to make her way through opened his branches, makingthe storm. a little doorway. The little girl She must be lost! Weepy walked through the opening,thought. I want to help her, but and sat under the tree’s greatwhat can I do? Dear God, show me leafy branches.
It howling wind now seemed to hum a was quiet melody in his branches and leaves. and peace- By morning, the storm had end- ful there, ed. The tree smiled as the girl woke and safe from up. She yawned, rubbed her eyes the terrible and smiled back at the weeping wil- storm. low. The weeping The weeping willow then saw willow dropped the shepherd boy who used to sit his softest leaves to under his branches before, run- make a bed for the ning frantically toward them. The child, and watched boy looked like he was searching as she snuggled to for something. Or is it someone? sleep on them. Covered thought Weepy. tenderly with Weepy’s The weeping willow opened its branches and leaves, she leaves, and the girl ran to her broth- fell asleep, while the storm er’s arms. They both hugged the raged on. weeping willow tightly and kissed his The weeping willow was bark. blissfully happy. Now he was “Thank you,” the girl said sweetly. useful for something! He had “You protected me from the saved a child from the storm and storm.” had made her happy, too. How How wonderful the weepingwonderful life seemed! Even the willow felt! God had heard his prayer