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J. H. Stickney

The Ax and the Trees

O NCE upon a time a man came to a forest to ask the Trees if they would give him some wood to make a handle for his Ax.

The Trees thought this was very little to ask of them, and they gave him a good piece of hard wood. But as soon as the man had fitted the handle to his Ax, he went to work to chop down all the best Trees in the forest.

As they fell groaning and crashing to the ground, they said mournfully one to another, "Our kindness was misplaced. We suffer for our own foolishness."