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Short Stories (Stories for the Youth), book by Father Tadros Yacoub Malaty

521- The Bowing Christmas Tree


I was thinking of the true Christian who has love as a nature. He bears love and is full of love because he is the Son of God who is Himself Love. He who clings to Him bears the partnership of His characteristics especially love.

In Halifax, our beloved father, Mikhail Fam narrated a touching short story which he read with his young daughter.

A dove came to a field in which Christmas trees were planted. She asked each tree if they would allow her to build her nest, to lay eggs and to lie over them among his branches. Some of the trees apologized saying that they have been recently planted and they wanted to grow quickly. They did not want a nest to be built among their branches which would hinder their growth. Others apologized saying that the nest would make them look ugly thus, no one would take them and decorate them in Christmas.

Among all the trees, there was a small tree who welcomed the dove. The dove was delighted with the tree who loved entertaining strangers and did not seek his own. Image: Bent Christmas Tree صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: شجرة ميلاد منحنية Image: Bent Christmas Tree.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: شجرة ميلاد منحنية.

What can I do for you in return for your hospitality? The dove asked.

Living among my branches is my reward. The tree replied, It gives me much pleasure to give you warmth to lie over your eggs and that the eggs would produce young ones. Please accept my invitation.

The dove accepted the invitation with much joy. She began to collect the straw and build her nest among the branches of the young Christmas tree. In winter, it was very cold. Therefore, the tree bowed his upper part to protect the dove and her eggs. He continued to bow as possible as he could until the eggs hatched and the young ones flew. The tree tried then to lift his upper part to be straight but could not.

Christmas drew near. Thus, merchants came to cut the Christmas trees to sell them to be decorated for Christmas. Each of them passed by the bowing tree and refused to buy him until he almost became alone in the whole field. It was very painful for the tree for he would not be decorated for Christmas like the others.

Was I mistaken when I bowed to protect the dove and her young ones. He asked himself.

The decoration which pleases the Born in the manger is the love I gave. He answered. Ill never regret doing an act of love.

Few days later, a believer who had bought a new house came. He wanted to plant a tree in his front garden. He crossed the field with his wife to find that the upper part of all the trees had been cut. None remained but that bowing tree. He admired him and bought him. The tree was uprooted and was planted in the garden of the new house. The man decorated the tree two days before Christmas. Thus, he rejoiced. After Christmas, all the cut trees withered and all people got rid of them.

However, the roots of the bowing tree went deep in the new soil. He was continuously growing to be decorated every Christmas and In all celebrations. Everyday, he used to sing the hymn of love of the first epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, chapter 13 and end it with Love never fails.

→ English translation of the story here at شجرة الميلاد المحنية. Divider

Your Soul bowed with love

Towards all mankind O the Savior of the world.

You became ugly on the cross O the source of all beauty.

However, Your Glory was soon reflected on many souls.

Your cross has become the secret behind the beauty of many.


May my soul bow with love with You

And carry Your cross with You.

May all despise my love for a while.

Time will pass and I shall shine with love.

I shall then become Your partner in the everlasting glory.

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