The Drying Tree

in Stories

In a far-off country, there was a beautiful village, but its residents were poor. The people of the village did farming and sold its produce to run their lives, but that did not suffice them. They lacked resources and avenues.

All the village children went to a school located in the centre of the village. One of the girl students wanted to make her village proud but didn’t know how. The little girl, Saira, didn’t know whom to go for advise in the village. The villagers were not educated or wise enough to guide her.

Illustration by: Neha Kumari

The school building was a small rundown structure. Its roof had holes and during rain, water leaked into the classrooms.

Whenever it rained, the school had to shut and ask the students to go home. This would always upset Saira as she dreamed of making it big some day.

Adjacent to the school, grew a giant fig tree. It overarched the roof of the school. The tree would give out a sweet fragrance during rain, soothing the senses.

Saira loved sitting under the giant tree. Under its shade, she would get lost in her books.

The winter was nearing its end. All the trees were bare and had no leaves.

As the spring arrived, all the trees turned green again except for the fig tree.

Many seasons passed, but the fig tree had no leaves. With each passing week, it lost a little more life left in it.

Only Saira noticed the tree was dying little by little. She wondered what was killing the tree. The tree had even stopped giving out the scent.

One day, the villagers decided to discuss what to do with the tree. A meeting of the village elders was called.

This fig tree is of no use anymore. We shall cut it down and use the wood,” said a village elder.

The others agreed.

Saira stood there listening to them.

We shall use the timber from the tree to repair the roof of the school,” she suggested.

Although the elders didn’t like her idea, they agreed.

The tree was finally cut down and its wood used to repair the roof.

Saira was happy that the school wouldn’t be shut in rain anymore, but she was also sad for losing the tree which she loved and under which she had spent so much time.

A few days later, it started raining while the students were attending class. Not a drop of water dripped from the roof, but the pleasant scent of the fig tree spread all around.

Saira could not believe how it had happened as the tree had been cut down.

Soon she understood that even in its death, the tree had helped the school. She smiled as the tree had taught her how to help others.

The tree became an inspiration for her. She studied hard and become a learned scholar.

Her work and wisdom earned her a name all across the country. Her dream had come true. She was a proud village girl and her village was also proud of her.

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