The magnificent birch tree grew deep in heart of the forest, and close nearby grew her three little daughters, still slim of trunk. The Mother Birch's great canopy of branches protected her daughters from wind and rain, and from the burning sun, too, during the hot summer. The little birches grew fast, and their life was carefree and happy. With their mother standing beside them they weren't afraid of anything.
One day the forest was shaken by a fierce storm, such as the forest had not seen for a long time. The thunder roared, and the sky was filled with flashes of lightning. One fork of lightning crashed into a nearby grove, and several trees were badly burned. The little birches trembled in fear. The Mother Birch hugged them tightly in her branches.
"Don't be afraid, " she said soothingly. ?The lightning won't notice you hidden beneath my branches. I'm the tallest tree in the forest.?
The Mother Birch had hardly spoken these words than a terrible, deafening crack shook the air, and a sharp, hot tongue of lightning landed right on her trunk. The blow was so awful that the branches of all the trees in the surrounding grove trembled. The lightning scorched its way to the very center of the Mother Birch's trunk, but she remembered that she had to protect her daughters, and there was no fire. The ground was shaking from the lightning's blows, which fell here and there all around. Pouring rain and howling wind tried to fell the Mother Birch, but she stood firm. Not for a moment did she forget her children, and not for a moment did her embrace weaken. Only when the storm had passed, the wind had stilled, and the drenched earth was again warmed by the sun, did the Mother Birch's battered trunk finally give way. As she felt herself starting to fall, she whispered to her children, ?Don't be afraid. I'm not leaving you. The lightning could not touch my heart. My old trunk will grow covered with moss and grass, but my heart will never stop beating. My roots are still holding tightly to yours under the earth, and nothing can tear us apart.? And with those words, the Mother Birch's trunk crashed to the ground - without even scratching one of her daughters. To this day the old stump is surrounded by three slim birches. Their branches encircle it gently, as if protecting it from rain and sun. Below them lies a great log covered with moss and grass.
If one day you should come walking through the woods to this spot, sit and rest on the Mother Birch's trunk: it's wonderfully soft! Then close your eyes and listen. Perhaps you will hear the beat of a mother's heart.
2010-04-22 18:48 编辑：kuaileyingyu
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