Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Trees (12/05/05)
TITLE: A Cup O' Tea?
By Brandi Roberts
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As soon as I finished my tea, I was up and searching through a box full of mittens, hats and scarves, planning for my crazy idea. I grabbed the few things that I considered "an ensemble" and headed out to my backyard.
I created my masterpiece, and giggled all the while I was doing so. Finally, when I was satisfied, I stepped back and surveyed what I had done. My crabapple tree looked lively with its multi-shaded blue toque, pink mittens and a scarf that resembled the hat in The Cat in the Hat, while the apple tree could be addressed as a woodsman, with its orange toque, leather gloves and a vest that didn't fit quite right. What characters I had turned my trees into!
The next afternoon, I was again sitting in my kitchen sipping from a cup of tea, only this time, I included two more place mats with their own cups (minus the tea, of course). I chatted fervently away at my tea-time companions, laughing at their silent responses, and encouraging them to "have another". Anyone in their right mind would have locked me up, for sure, at the sight of me having tea with two "dressed up" trees.
Each day became the same routine. I'd get up early to finish my chores, and after lunch, I'd sit and tell my new-found friends about life, and love and all things general. Until one day, the unthinkable happened.
My tea had just finished steeping, and I sat down in my usual chair in front of the window when I noticed that one of my trees had been stripped down to its nakedness, leaving it to stand cold and embarrassed in front of the other trees. In a huff, I stomped outside with new items to dress my poor woodsman. It was no way for a man to be presented to a lady! As I stepped across the yard, I noticed fresh footprints on their way to and from the tree out of my yard. Being the only one to live at home, I guessed I'd had a night-time visitor. I returned to the house, having dressed the tree again, and finished my cup of tea.
The next day, I realized I was running desperately low on my favorite afternoon drink. I bundled myself up and walked to the store that was just down the street. On my way, I noticed a young man curled up on the front step of a building. He was wearing the clothes that had gone missing from my tree! I felt a pang of sorrow for the way I'd acted about losing a few minor items. This dingy, brown-haired boy had nothing more than the clothes on his back. I continued on my way to the store, and picked up a few extra items that I needed all of a sudden.
That night, I took three of my blankets from the closet and wrapped them around the branches of the apple tree. I also packed a basket with two loaves of fresh bread, a thermos full to the brim of hot cocoa and a pocket Bible. I couldn't stand the thought of that young man, not just living without a home and warmth, but without the love of God.
Early the next morning, I arose to go look outside. The blankets and clothing were missing again, and the basket hung, empty, on the apple tree's branch. Thankful for having been able to bless another, I smiled. God had used my silly thoughts to help another in need.
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