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WHY THE ASPEN QUIVERS
LONG, long ago, so the legend says, when Joseph and Mary and
the Holy Babe fled out of Bethlehem into Egypt, they passed
through the green wildwood. And flowers and trees and plants
bent their heads in reverence.
But the proud aspen held its head high and refused even to
look at the Holy Babe. In vain the birds sang in the aspen's
branches, entreating it to gaze for one moment at the
wonderful One; the proud tree still held its head erect in
Then outspake Mary, his mother. "O aspen
 tree," she said, "why do you not gaze on the Holy Child? Why
do you not bow your head? A star arose at his birth, angels
sang his first lullaby, kings and shepherds came to the
brightness of his rising; why, then, O aspen, do you refuse
to honor your Lord and mine?"
But the aspen could not answer. A strange shivering passed
through its stem and along its boughs, which set its leaves
a-quivering. It trembled before the Holy Babe.
And so from age to age, even unto this day, the proud aspen
shakes and shivers.