Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Stunted Tree

The Stunted Tree. A large number of trees had grown up in the same place together, tall, straight, and smooth, except for one miserable little tree, full of knots, which the other trees were in the habit of mocking since it was misshapen and stunted. When the owner of the place was ready to build a house, he ordered that all the trees be cut down, except for the one tree whose small size and ugly shape seemed sure to result in a misshapen building. When the other trees had been cut down, the stunted tree said to itself, "O Nature, I will no longer complain about the fact that you made me ugly, now that I see how the beautiful trees must face such life-threatening dangers."

Arbor Pusilla. Arbores complures in eodem creverant loco procerae, rectae enodesque, praeter unam humilem, parvam nodosamque, quam ut deformem pusillamque ceterae ludibrio habere solitae erant. Aedificaturus domum, loci dominus iubet omnes excidi, praeter eam quae brevitate et deformitate sua aedificium indecorum redditura videbatur. Ceteris excisis, deformis haec secum dicebat, "De te non amplius querar, Natura, quod me turpem genueris, cum formosis tam magna videam imminere discrimina."

Notes. This is Abstemius 12. As usual with Abstemius, it is not found in Perry's inventory. This is a fable I sometimes think about walking around in our woods: the big tall trees are safe in our woods, of course, since we are not going to sell them to be made into lumber. But who knows what fate will await them fifty years or so down the road...?

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