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

TITLE: Beneath the trees where she grew
By Issa Sarza


It happened there one hot summer afternoon, beneath the thick bushes and deep green leaves of the trees, where a little girl, named Issa, found a small box wrapped in gold paper addressed to her. She found it odd that someone might leave it there on the ground for her. She stared at the box for a while and slowly knelt down to get it.

“What could this be? How strange to find a gift deep in the woods.” She thought.

She shook it and tried to hear what might be inside. She can’t seem to recognize the sound.

“Hmmm. I wonder what’s inside. It is addressed to me anyway so I might as well open it.”

She tore the gold paper wrapping, lifted the lid of the small box and found a card with something written on it.

For my beloved child-- a gift of time.

Issa was elated. She expected to receive a new watch.

But alas, she didn’t get a watch. Instead, she received a pair of binoculars.

“Now it’s stranger than ever!” Issa exclaimed with such disbelief and resignation.

“There’s no way I can experience time with these binoculars!“

She didn’t understand why she got a gift during an ordinary day more so what to do with her gift. So she just sighed, placed the binoculars inside the pockets of her skirt and continued to play in the grassy area of the woods.

While skipping about in the trees, her friend Yeshua silently found her. She felt a sight movement in the bushes so she quickly pulled out her binoculars to see. She looked about and saw through her binoculars a figure and suddenly realized that it was her good friend Yeshua.

“What do you have in there, Issa?”

“They’re a pair of binoculars. It was a gift for me. Come over here and try it!”

“Let’s climb a tree and use it there!” Yeshua suggested.

With his idea, they both climbed the nearest tree trunk, up to its branches while holding on to its leaves.

“Wow! It’s so much better up here!” Yeshua exclaimed.

“Yes, I can see everything from up here! It’s so beautiful!” Issa happily shouted as both of them took turns in looking through the binoculars.

“Why would anyone give you a pair of binoculars anyway?” Yeshua asked.

“I don’t know”, Issa silently replied.

But both of them saw the whole beauty of the land. They witnessed every lovely tree surrounding them and all the fruits it bore. They saw countless animals running about and clouds that seemed to imitate different kinds of things.

Issa looked up to the sky and suddenly felt like she needed to thank God.

“Yeshua, I fear that I might not have enough time to see everything around me seeing that it’s nearly dusk and I must be home before that.” She sadly announced to her friend.

“Do not worry, Issa. You have been given time by the Lord to see enough beauty in the world and live to tell about it. You say that the binoculars were a gift? Who would give you such a gift?”

“I don’t know, but the giver wrote that it was a gift of time. Oh well, we better go head for home now” Issa sighed with contentment.

Years later, while going through her old things in the attic, Issa once again saw the pair of binoculars she had received.

And though she was still puzzled as to how the gift got there and who gave it to her, she now understood why she was given such a gift.

She thought to herself, “It is because I am being told to enjoy whatever time I have in seeing goodness in everything. By looking at all things as wonderful, it wouldn’t matter if I had a long or short time. What is important is that my time is spent in perfecting the reflection of God in me and being able to see Him in everything.”

So it was then at the thick of the bushes and the deep green of the leaves of the trees that the little girl named Issa had grown up.

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This article has been read 609 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Naomi Deutekom12/12/05
Beautiful story, with a message we all need in our fast paced world. Thank you.
Marilyn Schnepp 12/12/05
A nice story with a good lesson. With a double check on your editing you would have found "sight" instead of "slight"..but overall it is well written and a job well done on the subject of trees, time and insight. Very good!
terri tiffany12/13/05
This was written in a very easy to read and pleasant style. I noticed a punctuation need here and there but otherwise so very good. :)
Jan Ackerson 12/14/05
Consider re-wording this: “I don’t know”, Issa silently replied. How does one silently reply?

This is an interesting story, hard to nail down a setting. But an apt lesson; thanks a lot!

Sandra Petersen 12/16/05
Great title, which I understood better when I finished your article.
There are some places where the writing needs to be tightened up. Watch the overuse of -ly adverbs.You could just as easily say that Yeshua sneaked up on her than he "silently found her", for example, and '“I don’t know”, Issa silently replied' works just as well without the adverb.
Thank you for having us consider the lesson told in this story.