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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 78 pages of information about Allegories of Life.

His wish was granted; his effort was over, and his child could now behold the beauties which had so long thrilled his own soul.

Thus does our Heavenly Father call us upward; and when he sees that we will not leave the common view for grander scenes, and will not listen to his voice, however beseeching, he makes all dark and drear below, that we may be led to ascend higher, where the day-beams are longer, the view more extended, and the air more rarified and pure.

VIII.

The oak.

An old and experienced gardener had been watching a tree for many days, whose branches and foliage did not seem to repay him for his care.  “I see,” he said, a little sadly; “the roots are not striking deep enough:  they must have a firmer hold in the earth, and only the wind and the fierce blast will do it.”

It was now sunset, and the faithful gardener put away his tools, closed the garden gates, and went into his cottage.  Soon a mass of dark clouds began to gather on the horizon.  “I am sorry to use such harsh means,” he said, waving his hand in the direction of the wind clouds; “but the tree needs to be more firmly rooted, and naught but a violent wind will aid it.”

A low, moaning sound went through the air, shaking every bush and tree to its foundation.

“Oh, dear!” sighed the tree.  “Oh, the cruel gardener, to send this wind!  It will surely uproot me!”

The tree readied forth its branches like arms for help, and implored the gardener to come and save it from the fearful blasts.  The flowers at its feet bowed their heads, while the winds wafted their fragrance over the struggling, tempest-tost tree.

“They do not moan, as I do.  They cannot be suffering as I am,” said the tree, catching its breath at every word.

“They do not need the tempest.  The rain and the dew are all they want,” said a vine, which had been running many years over an old dead oak, once the pride of the garden.  “I heard the gardener say this very afternoon,” continued the vine, “that you must be rooted more firmly; and he has sent this wind for that purpose.”

“I wonder if I am the only thing in this garden that needs shaking,” spoke the oak, somewhat indignantly.  “There’s a poor willow over by the pond that is always weeping and—­”

“But,” interrupted the vine, “that’s what keeps the beautiful sheet of water full to the brim, and always so sparkling,—­the constant dropping of her tears; and we ought to render her gratitude.  Besides, she is so graceful—­”

“Oh, yes:  all the trees are lovely but me.  I heard the gardener’s praise, the other day, of the elms and the maples, and even the pines; but not one word did he say about the oaks.  I didn’t care for myself in particular, but for my family, which has always been looked up to.  Well, I shall die, like my brother, and soon we shall all pass away; but, unlike my brother oak, no one will cling to me as you do, vine, to his old body.”

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