The Giving Tree
By Shel Silverstein
Once there was a tree and she loved a little boy. And every day the boy would come, and he would gather her leaves and make them into crowns and play king of the forest. He would climb up her trunk and swing from her branches and eat apples. And they would play hide-and-go-seek. And when he was tired, he would sleep in her shade. And the boy loved the tree, very much. And the tree was happy. But time went by and the boy grew older. And the tree was often alone. Then one day the boy came to the tree, and the tree said,
"Come boy, come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and eat apples, and play in my shade and be happy."
"I'm too big to climb and play," said the boy. "I want to buy things and have fun. I want some money."
"I'm sorry," said the tree. "But I have no money. I have only leaves and apples. Take my apples, boy, and sell them in the city. Then you will have money and you will be happy."
And so the boy climbed up the tree and gathered her apples, and carried them away. And the tree was happy.
But the boy stayed away for a long time, and the tree was sad.
By Neil Gaiman
Three years in London had not changed Richard, although it had changed the way he perceived the city. Richard had originally imagined London as a gray city, even a black city, from pictures he had seen and was surprised to find it filled with color. It was a city of red brick and white stone, red buses and large black taxis, which were often, to Richard's initial puzzlement, gold or green or maroon, bright red post boxes, and green grassy parks and cemeteries.
When he had first arrived, he had found London huge, odd, fundamentally incomprehensible, with only the Tube map, that elegant, multi-colored, topographical display of underground railway lines and stations giving it any semblance of order. Gradually he realized that the Tube map was a handy fiction that made life easier, but bore no resemblance to the reality of shape of the city above. Like belonging to a political party, he thought once, proudly. And then having tried to explain the resemblance between the tube map and politics at a party to a cluster of bewildered strangers, he had decided in the future to leave political comment to others.
By James Robertson
Recorded for "365: Stores + Music"
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