The Cherry Tree
by Lakshmi M Bhat
Tapti came running up to her mother in great excitement: there were so many little flowers in her cherry tree; they looked like little white stars.
She remembered the day when she and her mother had planted the little cherry plant. It had been more than two years ago. Her mother had told her the story of a little bird which had lost its cherry fruit. It had fallen from its beak and had never been found. The next time the little bird came that way it saw a little new plant. Years passed. One day the little bird and its family were surprised to see a big tree with lots of red fruits. They were very happy.
Listening to the story, Tapti had wanted her own cherry tree. So she and her mother had planted a sapling in their garden. She watered it regularly and was very careful to always close the gates. She did not want cows to eat her little plant. Every new leaf made her very happy. The little plant grew and grew, looking stronger as the days passed.
Now it was a tree with its branches spreading out like an umbrella. It gave welcome shade to all. Tapti was delighted to see birds and squirrels playing among the branches. There were bulbuls and mynahs, cockoos and sunbirds, flowerpeckers and flycatchers.
And today she came running to tell her mother about the flowers. Days went by, and in the place of the flowers there were little green fruits. Tapti waited for them to become bright red, ripe fruits. She was greatly puzzled when she did not get any.
Who could be eating her fruits?
Then, one day she saw the birds happily eating the fruits. She was happy and at the same time a little disappointed that she was not getting any. But as the days passed, there were so many fruits that there was more than enough for everyone.
Tapti and her friends loved them and they often wondered why people were cutting down trees everywhere.
They knew that trees were so important for the well-being of their planet and all its inhabitants.