Apple Tree
------------------------------------ Dear folks
Are you a child yourself?  (Stupid question!  The answer must be "Yes"!)
Is your parent still alive?
If you answer those questions with a "yes", please go on reading.  Take your time, and when you're finished, give it a deeper thought. 

A long time ago, there was a huge apple tree. A little boy loved to come and play around it everyday. He climbed to the tree top, ate the apples, took a nap under the shadow... He loved the tree and the tree loved to play with him. Time went by... the little boy had grown up and he no longer played around the tree everyday. 

One day, the boy came back to the tree and he looked sad. "Come and play with me," the tree asked the boy.  "I am no longer a kid, I don't play around trees anymore." The boy replied, "I want toys. I need money to buy them." "Sorry, but I don't have money...but you can pick all my apples and sell them. So, you will have money. "The boy was so excited. He grabbed all the apples on the tree and left happily. The boy never came back after he picked the apples. The tree was sad. 

One day, the boy returned and the tree was so excited.  "Come and play with me" the tree said. "I don't have time to play. I have to work for my family. We need a house for shelter. Can you help me?" "Sorry, but I don't have a house. But you can chop off my branches to build your house. "So the boy cut all the branches of the tree and left happily. The tree was glad to see him happy but the boy never came back since then. The tree was again lonely and sad.

One hot summer day, the boy returned and the tree was delighted. "Come and play with me!" the tree said. "I am sad and getting old. I want to go sailing to relax myself. Can you give me a boat?" "Use my trunk to build your boat. You can sail far away and be happy.  "So the boy cut the tree trunk to make a boat. He went sailing and never showed up for a long time.

Finally, the boy returned after he left for so many years. "Sorry, my boy. But I don't have anything for you anymore. No more apples for you..." the tree said.  "I don't have teeth to bite" the boy replied. "No more trunk for you to climb on" "I am too old for that now" the boy said. "I really can't give you anything ...the only thing left is my dying roots"the tree said with tears. "I don't need much now, just a place to rest. I am tired after all these years." The boy replied. "Good! Old tree roots is the best place to lean on and rest. Come,  Come sit down with me and rest."  The boy sat down and the tree was glad and smiled with tears.......

This is a story of everyone. 

The tree is our parents. When we were young, we loved to play with Mom and Dad...When we became grown-ups, we left them...only came to them when we needed something or when we were in trouble. No matter what, parents will always be there and give everything they could to make you happy. You may think the boy is cruel to the tree but that's how many or most of us are treating our parents.

If you don't feel touched by this story, be happy and proud of yourself because you must be different from the boy in the story.  You are a good child.  God will smile at you and give you rewards for treating well His Substitute!  He, as your (real and true) Father, can't be there for you in person, can he?!

But for those who admitted silently that he/she is like that boy, let's hope that we can do better from now on.  Let this story inspire and motivate us to show more of our love and appreciation to our parents while they are still alive.  And never, never let us regret this in front of their grave, when it's too late to change.

A reminder:  money is a means to show love, but it doesn't equal love.