This is the story of a very good girl named Corabelle. She was the most perfect daughter, sister and friend that a body could wish for. If ever anyone needed something, Corabelle was the first person they called, for she was exceedingly loyal and giving. To a fault, some might say, but it made her happy to serve. When others were happy, Corabelle was happy.
And so it went for years and years, until the day poor Corabelle found herself in need. A life of serving without stopping to care for herself had taken its toll. She cried for help to no avail.
“Who are you?” her friends and family all said, “I’m much too busy to help you today.”
After being rejected by nearly everyone she knew Corabelle was beginning to wonder too. “Who are you?” she asked herself. In her current state, with nothing to give, she felt useless.
She noticed an old woman carrying a bundle and begged her, “Please ma’am, I have no money to pay you, but I am so tired and hungry. Is there something you can spare, a bit of bread or fruit perhaps?”
“Oh dear girl, as you can see, I have nothing but these rags to keep the wind from nipping my weary bones, but I know a tree that grows at the edge of town. You will recognize it because it has no leaves, but one of every variety of fruit grows from its red branches.”
“How can that be? I’ve never heard of such a tree.”
“Oh, but you have. You yourself are like that tree. You have spent your life giving, being all things to all people. Your fruits have been many but you have lost yourself and are fading as we speak.”
“How do you know this?” Corabelle queried.
“The tree sent me to tell you. It heard your question.”
“My question? Who are you?”
That is the question, “Who are you?” the old woman replied.
Corabelle thought it strange, but she was intrigued. “I should like to meet this tree,“ she said.
“Very well,” the old woman answered, pointing the way.
When Corabelle saw the tree, she was filled with deep compassion. It looked so overburdened with fruits of every kind hanging from its limbs. Just as the old woman said, it reminded her of herself. “What kind of tree are you?” Corabelle asked.
“I don’t know,” sighed the tree, “I don’t even know if I am a tree, or a vine, or a bush. If someone wished for an apple, I became a tree, or if another wanted a grape I became a vine. As you can see, I am twisted and wilting away to nothing, except for these heavy fruits clinging to my bare branches. And worst of all, no one wants my fruit anymore.”
“Well, I certainly do! I would love a piece of your fruit if you don’t mind!” Corabelle reached for the apple and snapped it from the tree.
In an instant, the other fruit fell from the branches and leaves sprouted every which way where there had been none. “Thank you Corabelle!” the tree exclaimed,”I remember who and what I am now. I am a tree, an apple tree to be exact.”
Corabelle smiled happily, taking a bite of the apple. For the first time in her life she felt what it was like to receive. It felt good. Not as good as giving, but very good indeed.
kat ~ 2 December 2016
A bit out of practice doing micro…so longer, but hopefully intriguing enough to keep one’s attention. This is my entry for Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge this week based on the illustration by Virginia Frances Sterret that you see above. Happy Friday to you.