Close

Note: You will only see this box once.

We would like to invite you to sign up for the completely free Apples4theteacher.com Newsletter! Join our other 480,975 readers.

Subscribers are automatically registered to receive free teaching resources including lesson plan ideas, printables and more. Stay informed of all our new resources as they're developed...we have some exciting features coming in 2014!

P.S.. To officially become a newsletter subscriber, be sure to confirm your subscription by responding to the email we send you.



We respect your privacy!
Home Kids Safe Search for Apples4theteacher.com Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter! Add this site to your favorites folder Sitemap - Contents of Website Contact Us
Home of Apples4theteacher.com - Elementary lessons, stories, poetry, vocabulary worksheets, children's book reviews, craft ideas for teachers.
Thematic Book Reviews Fun Printable Coloring Sheets Holidays Events and Occasions Teacher Worksheets
Thematic Books Color Holiday Fun Teacher Printables
 
An Educational Resource Site for
Teachers and Homeschoolers
  April 19, 2014
Ad
Featured Teaching Ideas

Ad

Printable Arbor Day Short Stories for kids - Children's printable stories for Arbor DayArbor Day Short Stories

Printable Arbor Day Short Stories for kids - Baucis and PhilemonBaucis and Philemon

Printable Arbor Day Short Stories for kids - DaphneDaphne

Printable Arbor Day Short Stories for kids - Johnny AppleseedJohnny Appleseed

Printable Arbor Day Short Stories for kids - The Dryad of the Old Oak TreeThe Dryad of the Old Oak Tree

Printable Arbor Day Short Stories for kids - The Elder Tree MotherThe Elder Tree Mother

Printable Arbor Day Short Stories for kids - The Happy FamilyThe Happy Family

Printable Arbor Day Short Stories for kids - The Little AcornThe Little Acorn

Printable Arbor Day Short Stories for kids - The Little Tree That Longed for Other LeavesThe Little Tree That Longed for Other Leaves

Printable Arbor Day Short Stories for kids - The
            Proud Oak TreeThe Proud Oak Tree

Printable Arbor Day Short Stories for kids - The Story of the LaurelThe Story of the Laurel

Printable Arbor Day Short Stories for kids - The Three ApplesThe Three Apples

Printable Arbor Day Short Stories for kids - The Tinkers WillowThe Tinkers Willow

Printable Arbor Day Short Stories for kids - The Unfruitful TreeThe Unfruitful Tree

Printable Arbor Day Short Stories for kids - Why the Evergreen Tree Never Looses its LeavesWhy the Evergreen Tree Never Looses its Leaves

Show Us Some Love -
Click the +1 Button!
 

Kids Arbor Day Short Stories
Printable Children's Literature for Teachersfor Arbor Day

 
 

Home > Holidays and Occasions > Arbor Day > Short Stories for Kids > The Elder Tree Mother

Arbor Day Short Stories for kids - Children's Stories About TreesArbor Day Short Stories

The Elder Tree Mother

Adapted from Hans Christian Andersen

There was once a little boy who had caught cold; he had gone out and got wet feet. No one could imagine how it had happened, for it was quite dry weather. His mother undressed him, put him to bed, and had the tea-urn brought in to make him a good cup of elder tea, for that warms well.

"Now you are to drink your tea," said the mother, "and then perhaps you will hear a story."

The little boy drank the elder tea and then looked at the teapot. The lid raised itself and the elder flowers came forth from it, white and fresh. They shot forth long branches even out of the spout; they spread about in all directions and became larger and larger. There was the most glorious elder bush, in fact quite a tree. It stretched to the bed and thrust the curtains aside; how fragrant it was and how it bloomed! And in the midst of the tree sat an old, pleasant looking woman in a strange dress. It was quite green like the leaves of the elder tree, and bordered with great white elder blossoms. One could not tell whether this border was of stuff, or of living green and real flowers.

"Who are you?" the little boy asked.

"They used to call me a Dryad," said the woman, "but I have a better name than that. I am the Elder Tree Mother."

Then she took the little boy out of bed, and laid him upon her bosom. The blossoming elder branches wound round them so they sat as it were in the thickest arbor, and this arbor flew away with them through the air. It was very beautiful. Elder Mother all at once became a pretty young girl; at her throat she had a real elder flower, and on her head a wreath of elder blossoms. Her eyes were large and blue. She and the boy were of the same age and felt the same joys.

Hand in hand they went out of the arbor, and now they stood in the beauteous flower garden of home. The father's staff was tied up near the fresh grass plot, and for the little boy there was life in the staff. The polished head turned into a noble, neighing horse's head with a flowing mane, and four slender legs shot forth. They seated themselves upon it and began to ride miles away. And the little girl who, as we know, was no one else but Elder Mother, cried out,

"Now we're in the country. Do you see the farmhouse with the great baking oven standing out of the wall? The elder tree spreads its branches over it, and the cock walks about, scratching for his hens. Look how he struts!

"Now we are at the forge where the fire burns and the hammers send bright sparks flying far around. But away, away!"

Everything, and more than the little girl mentioned as she sat on the stick behind him, flew past them. He will never forget, and throughout their whole journey the elder tree smelled so fresh, so fragrant. He noticed the roses and the fresh beech trees, but the elder tree smelled stronger than all for its flowers hung round the little girl and he often leaned against them as they flew onward.

"Here it is beautiful in spring!" said the little girl.

And they stood in the green beech wood where the thyme lay in fragrance beneath their feet and pink anemones looked pretty against the green.

"Here it is beautiful in summer!" said she.

And they passed by old castles where swans swam about and they looked down the shady avenues. In the fields the corn waved like a sea. In the ditches yellow and red flowers were growing, and in the hedges wild hops. In the evening the moon rose, round and large, and the haystacks in the meadows smelled sweet.

"Here it is beautiful in autumn!" said the little girl.

And the sky seemed twice as lofty and twice as blue as before and the forests were decked in the most gorgeous tints of red, yellow, and green. Whole flocks of wild ducks flew screaming overhead. The sea was dark blue and covered with ships with white sails; and in the barns sat old women, girls, and children picking hops into a large tub. The young people sang songs and the older ones told tales of goblins. It could hardly be finer anywhere.

"Here it is beautiful in winter!" said the little girl.

All the trees were covered with hoar frost so that they looked like white trees of coral. The snow creaked beneath one's boots as if every one had new boots on, and one shooting star after another fell from the sky. In the houses Christmas trees were lighted, and there were presents and there was happiness. In the country people's farmhouses the violin sounded, and there were merry games for apples. Even the poorest child said, "It is beautiful in winter!"

So the little girl showed the boy everything, and suddenly the boy grew up and was to go out into the wide world, far away to the hot countries where the coffee grows. When they were to part the little girl took an elder blossom from her wreath and gave it to him to keep. He put it in a book, and the more he looked at the flower the fresher it became so that he seemed, as it were, to breathe the forest air of home. Then he plainly saw the little girl looking out with her clear blue eyes from between the petals of the flower and she whispered,

"Here it is beautiful in spring, summer, autumn, and winter!" and hundreds of pictures glided through his thoughts.

Many years went by. He seemed to be an old man and sat with his wife under the blossoming elder tree. The little maiden with the blue eyes and with the wreath of elder blossoms in her hair sat up in the tree, and nodded to both of them, and said, "Today is our golden wedding day!" Then she took two flowers out of her hair and kissed them, and they gleamed, first, like silver, then like gold. When she laid them on the heads of the old people, each changed to a golden crown. There they both sat like a King and Queen, under a fragrant tree that looked quite like an elder bush; and he told his old wife the story of the Elder Tree Mother.

"Some call me Elder Tree Mother," said the little girl in the tree, "others the Dryad, but my real name is Remembrance. It is I who sit in the tree that grows on and on, and I can think back and tell stories. Let me see if you still have your flower?"

The old man opened his book; there lay the elder blossom as fresh as if it had only just been placed there; and Remembrance nodded, and the two old people with the golden crowns on their heads sat in the red evening sunlight, and they closed their eyes, and the story was finished.

The little boy lay in his bed and did not know whether he had been dreaming or had heard a tale told. The teapot stood on the table, but no elder bush was growing out of it.

"How beautiful that was!" said the little boy. "Mother, I have been in the hot countries."

"Yes, I am sure of that!" replied the mother. "When one drinks two cups of hot elder tea one very often gets into the hot countries." And she covered him up well that he might not take cold. "You have slept well," she said.

"But where is the Elder Tree Mother?" asked the little lad.

"She's in the tea-pot," said his mother, "and there she may stay."

 

Email this page to a friend Email this page to a friend

 


Follow Us...

Follow Us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow Us on Pinterest

Free Newsletter!

Join our other 480,975 readers.


We respect your privacy!

Newsletter subscribers are automatically registered to receive free teaching resources including lesson plan ideas and printables.


Online Short Stories for Kids Other Short Stories

Arbor Day Activities for KidsArbor Day Activities

Arbor Day Unit Study

About Arbor Day

When is Arbor Day?

Arbor Day Worksheets and Printables

Arbor Day Plays and Skits

Arbor Day Songs and Music

What Leaves Do

What Trees Give Us

Arbor Day Coloring Pages

Arbor Day Word Search Challenge

Thematic Reading List - Kids Books

Arbor Day Short Stories

Arbor Day Poetry

Arbor Day Quotes

See also:
Earth Day Activities

Bird Day Activities

Fun Holiday Activities and Games for Kids

 

Holidays and

Teaching Themes

April Games, Teaching Activities & Worksheets

April Fools Day Thematic Unit - April Fools Day
Passover Thematic Unit - Passover
Fun Easter Thematic Unit - Easter Fun
Christian Easter Theme Unit of Study - Easter - Religious Christian Easter
Earth Day Theme Unit of Study - Earth Day
Arbor Day Theme Unit of Study - Arbor Day
April Calendar of Events - April Teaching Ideas - Other April Teaching Ideas

May Games, Teaching Activities & Worksheets

  - Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
May Day Theme Unit of Study - May Day
National Day of Prayer Theme Unit of Study - National Day of Prayer
Birds Theme Unit of Study - Bird Day
Cinco de Mayo Thematic Unit - Cinco de mayo
  - Teacher Appreciation
Mothers Day Theme Unit of Study - Mother's Day
Armed Forces Thematic Unit - Armed Forces Day
Memorial Day Thematic Unit - Memorial Day
Graduation Thematic Unit - Graduation
May Calendar of Events - May Teaching Ideas - Other May Teaching Ideas

Sample Thematic Games & Teaching Ideas

Letter Activities, Coloring Pages, Worksheets and Games - Letters of the Alphabet Games
Community Helpers Games, Activities, Worksheets, Books, Poetry, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Community Helpers
100th Day of School Games, Activities, Worksheets, Books, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - The 100th day of School Activities
Seasons Thematic Unit - Summer - Summer
Seasons Thematic Unit - Fall - Autumn - Games, Coloring Pages, Activities, Worksheets, Articles, Books, Poetry, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Fall
Seasons Thematic Unit - Winter - Winter
Seasons Thematic Unit - Spring - Spring
U.S. Presidents Games, Coloring Pages, Activities, Worksheets, Timelines, Books, Poetry, Stories, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Presidents
Dr. Seuss Thematic Teaching Unit - NEA Read Across America - Read Across America - Dr. Seuss's Birthday
Native Americans Thematic Unit - Games, Coloring Pages, Activities, Worksheets, Articles, Books, Poetry, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Native American Study
USA States - U.S. Geography Thematic Unit - U.S. Geography
ADD, ADHD, Literacy, ESL, Special Ed, Bilingual Ed, Gifted, Health Ed, Early Childhood Education   
 
Home Search About Us Contact Compensation and Affiliation Affidavit Getting Started Privacy Policy Terms of Service Sitemap

Apples4theteacher.com is a teacher created website with elementary and homeschooling activities:
first grade, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade and sixth grade teaching materials and lesson plans.

Copyright ©1999-2014
Owned and operated by Webstantaneous Web Marketing, LLC