THE LEGEND OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE
Lucy Wheelock. By permission of the author.
TWO little children were sitting by the fire one cold
winter's night. All at once they heard a timid knock
at the door, and one ran to open it.
There, outside in the cold and the darkness, stood a
child with no shoes upon his feet and clad in thin,
ragged garments. He was shivering with cold, and he
asked to come in and warm himself.
"Yes, come," cried both the children; "you shall have
our place by the fire. Come in!"
 They drew the little stranger to their warm seat
and shared their supper with him, and gave him their
bed, while they slept on a hard bench.
In the night they were awakened by strains of sweet
music and, looking out, they saw a band of children in
shining garments approaching the house. They were
playing on golden harps, and the air was full of
Suddenly the Stranger Child stood before them: no
longer cold and ragged, but clad in silvery light.
His soft voice said: "I was cold, and you took Me in.
I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was tired, and you
gave Me your bed. I am the Christ Child, wandering
through the world to bring peace and happiness to all
good children. As you have given to Me, so may this
tree every year give rich fruit to you."
So saying, He broke a branch from the fir tree that
grew near the door, and He planted it in the ground and
disappeared. But the branch grew into a great tree,
and every year it bore wonderful golden fruit for the