The Olive Tree and The Fig Tree, Adapted from Aesop's Fables

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The Olive Tree and The Fig Tree, Adapted from Aesop's Fables

1) Once upon a time an olive tree and a fig tree lived next to each other in a lush forest on the side of a mountain. The olive tree was very vain and proud of the fact that she, unlike the fig tree, kept her waxy green leaves all year round. Each autumn when her friend the fig tree would shed her leaves, the olive tree would remark, “My poor friend. How you must envy me during these cold months. I am nestled warmly in my thick green leaves, while you must shiver in the winter wind, nothing but a bundle of sticks protruding from the ground.”
2) The fig tree was a good-natured tree and never responded in anger to her friend’s taunts. Every autumn she shed her leaves without complaint. Every winter she bent and twisted in the blowing wind, again without complaint. In fact, the more her friend the olive tree berated her for her lack of leaves and naked boughs, the more determined she became to remain cheerful. Her optimism was rewarded every spring when the sung began to shine more warmly and the first buds of her new leaves would emerge on her wiry branches.
3) One autumn, however, the olive tree was particularly insulting. As the fig tree shook the last of her leaves from her branches in the darken ing afternoon, the olive tree said, “I regret that I have to live next to you. For months at a time you are simply the ugliest thing in the forest. Your branches are so pale and sickly. The brush together in the wind and make and irritating sound.”
4) The fig tree maintained her cheerful composure. “I have the spring to look forward to,” she said. “I love the feeling of new leaves sprouting, and I look forward to seeing the forest creatures who come to my branches for food and shelter. I don’t mind the winter.”
5) The olive tree continued to berate her neighbor day after day into the heart of the winter. One afternoon a heavy snow began to fall. “Oh look,” said the olive tree. “See how the snow gathers on my lovely leaves. It glistens in the light and I look so beautiful.” The fig tree agreed that her friend looked lovely in the snow and went on bending in the wind as the snow fell away from her bare branches and onto the ground.
6) The olive tree chattered on through the snow storm, but eventually grew quiet. “The snow is quite heavy,” she said. “My branches are beginning to strain from the weight.”
7) Suddenly there was a loud crack, followed by a tearing sound and a crash. The olive tree’s branches, laden with the heavy snow upon their leaves, had broken away from her trunk and lay in a pile at her foot. The olive tree wept at the sight of herself, a single twig stick up from the ground. “Now we are the same,” said the fig tree. 

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Word Lists:

Berate : scold or criticize (someone) angrily

Lush : (of vegetation) growing luxuriantly

Protruding : sticking out; projecting

Wiry : resembling wire in form and texture

Sprout : (of a plant) put forth shoots

Warmly : in a way that gives out warmth; with comfortable heat

Branch : a part of a tree which grows out from the trunk or from a bough

Autumn : the third season of the year, when crops and fruits are gathered and leaves fall, in the northern hemisphere from September to November and in the southern hemisphere from March to May

Sickly : often ill; in poor health

Nestle : settle or lie comfortably within or against something


Additional Information:

Rating: B

Words: 526

Unique Words : 219

Sentences : 33

Reading Time : 2:20

Noun : 169

Conjunction : 31

Adverb : 30

Interjection : 2

Adjective : 50

Pronoun : 51

Verb : 65

Preposition : 60

Letter Count : 2,210

Sentiment : Positive

Tone : Neutral

Difficult Words : 87

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