Umbrella Tree

“But I am afraid,” the little girl said.

“Why?” said the tree.

“Because the world is so very big, and I so very small.”

“We are all small when compared with the world, and one’s size does not matter when compared to the strength of one’s heart.”

“But the sun is so very hot, and the day so very bright.”

“Then sit below my branches when you are weary, and I will shade you from the sun until your strength returns.”

“But the weather is so terrible at times. What if it blows me away, and I am lost to the wind?”

“Then sit below my branches when the wind gusts and the rain falls in sheets, and I will shelter you from the storm until fair weather returns.”

“But what of the night? It is so dark, and filled with so many horrors.”

“Then sit within my branches, and I will shelter you from the beasts that prowl in the darkness.”

“You would do all that?”


“But why?”

“For the same reason the sun is hot, the weather wild, and the night dark—it is my nature, and that is a great comfort.”

“Yes,” said the little girl. “It is indeed.”


  1. So sweet. Reads like a children’s board book. It reminds me of the Runaway Bunny, where her mother has an answer for each of the little bunny’s questions.

    • Sara C. Snider

      Thanks, Tanya. I haven’t read the Runaway Bunny, but it sounds cute. 🙂

  2. Wonderful – this one feels like a fable, one to explain to children why something is what it is – it made me smile 🙂
    Sophie’s Thoughts & Fumbles
    Wittegen Press

  3. This would make the perfect PB. I can visualize the illustrations!

    • Sara C. Snider

      Thanks, Jennifer. I really wish I could draw because it would be a lot of fun doing illustrations for stories.

  4. Nice; it reads like an homage to The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, but the tree doesn’t get cut down…

    • Sara C. Snider

      Thanks, Craig. I actually had that story in mind while writing this. 🙂

  5. Love! I agree that it totally should be a picture book for kids!

  6. If only more people appreciated trees this way.

    Lovely. Another awesome post.

  7. Ah, lovely Sara thank you. I know you love trees as the creatures are usually in among them. This one makes my heart melt – it’s like an ode to the tree in all it’s beauty and grandeur and givingness.

    Have a lovely weekend ..

    • Sara C. Snider

      Thanks, Susan. I’m rather fond of this story as well. Hope you also have a great weekend. 🙂

  8. Hi Sara .. this is beautiful .. I learnt so much about the Oak tree in my A -Z 2011 series .. a tree provides a huge amount of life – 200 organisms at least …

    The tree, however small, however thorny provides an umbrella to many .. cheers Hilary

    • Sara C. Snider

      I didn’t know that about the oak tree, how fascinating and wonderful. Thank you, Hilary. 🙂

  9. “It is my nature.” True. Such a sweet, poignant story, Sara, and as Susan Scott says, an ode to the tree. Lovely.

  10. Nice! Have to agree with the picture book suggestion. I always thought there was wisdom in trees.

    • Sara C. Snider

      Me too–they’re so old, surely they know a thing or two. 😉 Thanks, Nick!

  11. Beautiful.
    It touched me.

    The Old Shelter – Roaring Twenties

  12. What a lovely story. Just what I needed today, Sara! 🙂

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