The Birthday Tree
Ethel Collier with pictures by Honoré Guilbeau
Young Scott Books, 1961
I've always romanticized that it would be cool to plant a tree on my son's birthday and then watch it grows as he grows; documenting every year with a tree-side photograph and a smile. Sadly, I haven't gotten around to planting one yet, and the years continue to tick by. In this little girl's world however, the birthday tree happens by complete serendipitous chance, which is the loveliest way for stuff like that to come about.
In the fall when the leaves are red,
it was my birthday. My father said, "Let's go
and see Mr. Green on his farm."
I always like to do that.
And so the birthday adventure begins... spotting pigs, dodging rabbits, swinging high and finally falling head-over-heals for a small, ten-leafed tree. When the farmer gifts it to the girl as a birthday treat, she dreams of the thing growing so large someday that all her friends will be able to sit underneath in the shade. What a nice birthday wish, eh?