Sprinkle seeds of joy and your garden will be filled with many friends.
Kind hearts are the gardens,
Kind thoughts are the roots,
Kind words are the blossoms,
Kind deeds are the fruits.
The Tree That Was Lonesome
There was once an old oak tree that had stood for a long time in the forest.
Many years before, a great storm had swept through the forest. The storm had left the oak only a crooked, ugly tree. It was no longer straight and beautiful like the others.
After years and years, the old oak tree began to feel hollow. It felt as if its heart as well as its body were hurt.
No one wants me. I am of no more use in the world." said the oak tree.
Tap, tap, tap. ! That was Mr. Red-headed Woodpecker. He worked until he had made a little round front door.
How grateful I am for this hollow tree," said Mr. Red-headed Woodpecker.
Whisk, whirr! That was Bobby Squirrel. He ran up the trunk of the tree until he came to the round hole that was his little front window. Oh, how comfortable and snug was the little house.
"How grateful I am for this hollow tree," chattered Bobby Squirrel.
Then a strange thing happened to the tree. The beating of the wings of the bird and the happy heart of the little squirrel inside warmed it. They made the heart of the old oak tree full of joy.
Instead of sighing in the wind, the oak tree's boughs sang with happiness. The fall rains had left tears on the ends of it twig fingers. Now they turned to diamonds until its twig hands sparkled with them. The snow covered its ugly body with a cloak of white. The starlight at night and the sun in the day time set a crown upon its head.
In all the forest there was no tree more glad or more beautiful than the old oak tree.
(adapted from Book of Virtues
by William J. Bennett)