NCE there was a Little Fir Tree, slim and pointed, and shiny, which stood in
the great forest in the midst of some big fir trees, broad, and tall, and
shadowy green. The
"Come down, come down, rest in my branches!"
But they always
And when the splendid wind came blowing and
singing through the forest, it bent
and rocked and swung the tops of the
big trees, and murmured to them. Then the
Little Fir Tree looked up, and
"Oh, please, dear wind, come down and play
with me!" But he always
"Oh, no; you are too little, you are too little!"
And in the winter the white snow fell
softly, softly, and covered the great
trees all over with wonderful caps and coats of white.
The Little Fir Tree,
close down in the cover of the others,
"Oh, please, dear snow, give me a cap, too!
I want to play, too!" But the snow
"Oh no, no, no; you are too little, you are too little!"
The worst of all was when men came into the wood, with sledges and teams of
horses. They came to cut the big trees down and carry them away. And when one
had been cut down and carried away the others talked about it, and nodded their
heads. And the
But by and by, one cold winter's morning, men came with a sledge and horses, and
after they had cut here and there they came to the circle of trees round the
"There are none little enough," they said.
Oh! how the Little Fir Tree pricked up his needles!
"Here is one," said one of the men, "it is just little enough."
And he touched
The Little Fir Tree was happy as a bird, because he knew they were about to cut
him down. And when he was being carried away on the sledge
he lay wondering,
contentedly, whether he should be the
mast of a ship or part of a fine city
house. But when they came to the town
he was taken out and set upright in a tub
and placed on the edge of a sidewalk
in a row of other fir trees, all small, but
none so little as he. And then the
People kept coming to look at the trees and to take them away.
But always when
they saw the
"It is too little, too little."
Until, finally, two children came along,
hand in hand, looking carefully at all
the small trees. When they saw the
"We'll take this one; it is just little enough!"
They took him out of his tub and carried him away,
between them. And the happy
He kept wondering, while they took him in through some big doors, and set him up
in another tub, on the table, in a bare little room. Pretty soon they went away,
and came back again with a big basket, carried between them. Then some pretty
ladies, with white caps on their heads and white aprons over their blue dresses,
came bringing little parcels. The children took things out of the basket and
began to play with the
After a time every one went away and left him.
It grew dusk, and the
All at once, the doors opened and the two
children came in. Two of the pretty
ladies were with them.
They came up to the
The Little Fir Tree had a sudden sight of a long room with many little white beds in it, of children propped up on pillows in the beds, and of other children in great wheeled chairs, and others hobbling about or sitting in little chairs. He wondered why all the little children looked so white and tired; he did not know that he was in a hospital. But before he could wonder any more his breath was quite taken away by the shout those little white children gave.
"How pretty! How beautiful! Oh, isn't it lovely!"
He knew they must mean him, for all their shining
eyes were looking straight at
him. He stood as straight as a mast, and
quivered in every needle, for joy.
Presently one little weak
"It's the nicest Christmas tree I ever saw!"
And then, at last, the Little Fir Tree knew what he was; he was a Christmas tree! And from his shiny head to his feet he was glad, through and through, because he was just little enough to be the nicest kind of tree in the world!