THE HAPPY TREE
Tree stood by the brook at the bottom of the meadow. He stretched his branches up to the sky and gave a little sigh.
"Why are you so sad?" asked an owl, settling on a branch.
"I'm the only tree here," said Tree, "I have no friends nearby."
"You're not as alone as you think," said Owl, "Look."
One wiggly worm crawled in and out of Tree's bark.
"Hello Wiggly Worm," said Tree, a little astonished.
"Hi there, Tree," called Wiggle Worm, "want to be friends?"
"Oh yes," said Tree, feeling a bit less sad.
"Look a little more," said Owl.
Two squirrels scuttled up the tree trunk.
"That's ticklish!" giggled Tree.
"Hello Tree," laughed the squirrels, "want to be friends?"
"Yes, please," said Tree, and he giggled again.
"You need to look again," said Owl.
Three blackbirds sat on a branch to sing.
"I'd like to sing with you," hummed Tree.
"Of course," twittered the blackbirds, "want to be friends?"
"I do," said Tree, and he hummed a song.
"All you have to do is keep looking," smiled Owl.
Four rabbits scampered from their burrow by Tree's roots.
"Where are you off to?" asked Tree.
"To find a garden full of spring vegetables," called the rabbits, "want to be friends?"
"I'd love to," smiled Tree, and he shook his branches in the sunshine.
"You seem quite busy, today," said Owl.
Five baby sparrows chattered noisily in their nests.
"Are you hungry again?" called Tree.
"We're always hungry!" chattered the sparrows, "want to be our friend, Tree?"
"Yes, indeed," said Tree, and rocked gently till the baby sparrows fell asleep.
"They are very noisy little birds," said Owl.
Six ants scuttled up and down Tree's trunk.
"You always seem so busy," said Tree with a friendly smile.
"Oh yes, we have so much work to do during the summer," cried the ants, "want to be our friend?"
"Oh yes," said Tree, not needing to sigh any more.
"They rush around all day long," said Owl.
Seven spiders spun their webs till Tree's leaves glittered in the autumn mist.
"They are beautiful webs," gasped Tree when he saw them.
"Thank you," chorused the spiders, "want to be our friend,Tree?"
"I would love to be your friend," Tree was delighted.
"They are wonderful artists," said Owl, "but look there, Tree."
Eight cows sheltered from the rain under Tree's branches.
"Hello," said Tree, surprised, "are you new here?"
"We've just arrived on the farm," said the cows, "would you please be our friend?"
"Oh yes," said Tree, "you can meet some of my other friends too."
"Now your friends are meeting each other and making friends too," chuckled Owl.
Nine red apples hung on Tree's branches like jewels.
"I have beautiful apples," Tree told Owl, now very proud.
"They taste good too," said Pig, who snuffled around Tree's trunk, "would you like to be my friend?"
"Yes I would," said Tree, quite delighted.
"This is a very busy place," muttered Owl, "who's this now?"
Ten little children came along to play. Tree shook the snow off his branches and made the children laugh.
"Oh Tree, we want to be your friends," said the children, "we find wiggly worms, spiders and ants here; we can see the birds in their nests and listen to them singing; we can climb on your branches or shelter from the rain, we can pick your bright red apples, drink milk from the cows and pat the pig."
"Well come and join in the fun," grinned a very happy Tree.
"You have more friends than you realise." said Owl.
"I do. I m a very Happy Tree."