The Fir Tree
By Hans Christian Andersen
Once upon a time, there was a little fir tree in a forest. The tree was very small. He was a beautiful little tree, but he was not happy. The little tree looked at the other trees around him. The other trees were big, tall trees. The little fir tree wanted to be big, like the other trees in the forest.
The forest was very beautiful. But the little tree didn’t take time to think about the beautiful forest. He only thought about how unhappy he was. He only thought, “I wish I could be big and tall!”
One day, at Christmas time, some men came into the forest to cut down trees. The little tree watched them. He was confused.
The little fir tree asked a bird, “Why are the men cutting down those trees? Where are they taking them?”
The bird said, “Those trees are going to be Christmas trees. People like to buy trees and put them in their houses for Christmas. And they look so beautiful! Every year, at Christmas time, when I fly around and look in the windows of houses, I see beautiful Christmas trees!”
“And what happens to the trees after Christmas?” the fir tree asked.
“I don’t know,” said the bird.
The little fir tree hoped that he could be a Christmas tree. He wanted to go to someone’s house for Christmas! He watched the men cutting down many other trees. Finally, one of the men pointed to the little fir tree. He said, “Let’s cut down this tree.” So the men cut down the little fir tree.
A family bought the little fir tree. They put the tree in their house on Christmas Eve. The family decorated the tree – they put many ornaments and lights on the tree. The tree felt very happy! He was so beautiful!
The next day was Christmas Day. Early that morning, the children in the family ran to the tree, took out their presents, and opened them happily. Everyone in the family was very happy. They talked and laughed together all day.
It was a wonderful day for the little tree! But he started to think – “Will this happen every day? Is Christmas every day? Will I have these ornaments on me all the time, every day?”
That night, the family went to bed, and the house was very quiet. But the little tree felt excited. He thought, “Maybe tomorrow will be the same as today! Maybe there will be a big party like this one every day!”
But the little fir tree was wrong. Early the next morning, the father in the family took off all the lights and ornaments from the tree and took the tree to the attic. The attic was very dark and quiet. For days and days, the little tree sat alone in the dark attic. He was bored and lonely.
The tree remembered his days in the forest. He remembered the other trees. He remembered the sun and the wind and the animals in the forest. He wished he could go back to the past and live in the forest again.
Finally, someone came up to the attic and got the little fir tree. The tree was happy – maybe he could do something exciting again! The person took him outside, and the little fir tree was very happy when he felt the sun and the fresh air.
But he was only happy for a very short time. The person cut the tree into a few pieces, took it inside the house, and used it to start a fire in the fireplace. And that was the end of the little fir tree.