Three little trees — and their dreams

Are you, like me, feeling glum because of the daily onslaught of depressing political news?

If so, here’s a reminder to “Look Up!” and to fix our eyes on what really matters.

The beautiful little essay below is from FOTM’s beloved pnordman’s blog, Light For the Way.

Tears rolled down my face as I read it.

Good tears. Soul-cleansing tears . . . .



Three little trees and their dreams

By Anonymous

Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they  wanted to become when they grew up. 

The first little tree looked up at the stars and said: “I want to hold treasure.  I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones.  I’ll be the most beautiful treasure in the world!” 

The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on its way to the ocean. “I want to be traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I’ll be the strongest ship in the world!” 

The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a busy town. “I don’t want to leave the mountain top at all.  I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me, they’ll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God.  I will be the tallest tree in the world.” 


Years passed. The rain came, the sun shone, and the little trees grew tall.

One day three wood cutters climbed the mountain. The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, “This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me.” With a swoop of his shining axe, the first tree fell. “Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest, I shall hold wonderful treasure!” the first tree said. 

The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, “This tree is strong.  It is perfect for me.” With a swoop of his shining axe, the second tree fell. “Now I shall sail mighty waters!” thought the second tree. “I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!” 

The third tree felt her heart sink when the last woodcutter looked  her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven.  But the woodcutter never even looked up. “Any kind of tree will do for me,” he muttered. With a swoop of his shining axe, the third tree fell. 

The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought her to a carpenter’s shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feedbox for animals. The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold, nor with treasure, she was coated with saw dust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals. 

The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took her to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ship was made that day. Instead the once strong tree was hammered and sawed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and too weak to sail to an ocean, or even a river; instead she was taken to a little lake. 

The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard. “What happened?” The once tall tree wondered. “All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God….” 

 Many, many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams. 

But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feedbox. “I wish I could make a cradle for him,” her husband whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and sturdy wood. “This manger is beautiful,” she said. 

And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.

One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon a thundering and thrashing storm arose. 

The little tree shuddered. She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through with the wind and the rain. 

The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, “Peace.” The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the king of heaven and earth. 

One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man’s hands to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel.

But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God’s love had changed everything. It had made the third tree strong.

And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world. 

So next time you feel down because you didn’t get what you want, just sit tight and be happy because God is thinking of something better to give you.

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7 years ago

My Family Tree Once upon time in the forest I stood proud, tall and strong for today I remember his trial as I was cut down I too prayed. Not once, twice a million times in handrails some hold for safety or the cane to support many today mean nothing to me and my family. History traces us back to door lintels supports for homes of mighty no more gone for good evil beings, wood died on. A wooden cross lives, shows you the way. You see they cut me down many years ago and I was not born yesterday… Read more »

mike diamond
mike diamond
7 years ago

very good!

7 years ago

Those are both excellent!

7 years ago

My dearest Eo! Thank you for the beautiful presentation – wow!

7 years ago

That was absolutely beautiful!

7 years ago

“Are you, like me, feeling glum because of the daily onslaught of depressing political news?” Yes! The Tree of Woe Who dares to cross their heart if lost beside a dream may find that love is hard to awake lost in a dream. While some are found incapable or just reluctant to love anyone that is found lost in their dreams. Some live a sheltered life; then deny their love a warm bed, their unfulfilled dreams a name. Be it right or wrong one has to survive in life whether you are truly loved by one or by no one.… Read more »

7 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Eowyn

Thank you, for we who read, poet and post do understand, that a long time ago we guided the faithful, the faithful we no longer recognize but we believe in.

7 years ago

Thought provoking, thank you for this.

7 years ago

Thank you. I haven’t read the story of the Three Trees in a long time. I used to read the book to my CCD classes. It is so poignant but so true.

7 years ago

Thank you Dr. Eowyn and pnordmanfor this beautiful post. Tears indeed! We must all be thankful and grateful for what God has given to us in our present situations. During Confession some seven years ago, a good priest told me to: Thank God in all things and situations; praise God in all things and situations; remember to live in the mystery of the Cross; and live in the present.

7 years ago

Thank you, Thank you, boy did I need to read this !