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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Trees (12/05/05)

TITLE: A Cup O' Tea?
By Brandi Roberts
12/07/05


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It was a quiet afternoon as I sat, sipping a cup of tea at my kitchen window and staring outside into my backyard. Snow had made its way into our lives, and had covered almost everything. My lonely, bare fruit trees stood shivering out there in the cold. I felt a kinship with these trees. All the other trees were much different, and taller, and still had some covering to protect themselves from the bitter cold. The two trees looked lonely, like me. A quirky thought came to my mind, and I smiled.

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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This article has been read 930 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 12/12/05
Fantabulous! If that's a word? I loved it! So creative, so touching, and a genuine "do gooder"! I know you felt good inside when the blanket and food was missing! What a wonderful way to help the needy, and perhaps they or "he" KNEW it wasn't stealing after all..(smile). Kudos! and God bless!
terri tiffany12/12/05
I felt like I was sitting right there with her. Very nice story. I liked it!
Naomi Deutekom12/12/05
Good job. Small things are the biggest blessings
Cassie Memmer12/14/05
I enjoyed this light hearted tale. Never know where God will lead us even if we think it's a bit silly at the time, huh? Great job!
Jan Ackerson 12/14/05
Awwwwwwwwww! Good job!
Sandra Petersen 12/15/05
What a neat story! I had no suspicions about where the "silly ideas" would lead. The ending was so sweet, that the young man was blessed in such a way."[T]he way I'd acted about losing a few minor items" is sadly the way many of us would react to such inconvenience. Great lesson to this offering! Thank you!
Suzanne R12/16/05
What an interesting plot! Excellent work.
Jeffrey Snell12/16/05
What a fun story! Great writing, nice job of stringing us along. I'ts always stunning to me how God can, at any moment, transform our lives into a ministry for someone nearby.
Laurie Glass12/16/05
I love this. Well written with a beautiful message. Great job.
Crista Darr12/17/05
Great piece of writing with a creative, heart-felt message!