The Largest Spruce

(Christmas story)

Once upon a time, in the distant wilderness of the snowy forest lay a small town. For the New Year holidays, when the houses and streets of the town were decorated with all sorts of bright decorations, residents prepared the largest Christmas tree in the area. It seemed a simple matter to find one among such taiga, but every year a whole team of lumberjacks went in search for the right spruce.

Wives prepared equipment for them, and children hugged them before leaving. The most persistent giant dogs were loaded into the sleigh. The lumberjacks in the snow gleamed red and blue hats, pink noses and shimmery beards. Yes, at this time the campaign was not easy for them.

At dawn, they set out into the forest; the rest of the townspeople saw them off with cheerful shouts. Soon a group of lumberjacks hid behind massive oak trees. For two days they wandered forward, halting at night. In the winter darkness and blizzard of cold, the lanterns of their sledges and camps flickered. The lumberjacks looked closely at the trees, measured their width and height. However, each time they were unhappy. Every year the town received the largest Christmas tree. And this year will be no exception…

They walked on; giant trees grew out of the ground like magic towers guarding these forests. One of the daredevil lumberjacks even climbed to the top of one of these pines. When he returned, he said that in the distance he saw the right Christmas tree. Yes, soon they will return home with the booty. And they moved on. The wind was picking up, and the gentle white clouds swirled into gray whirlwinds. The lumberjack kept silent that he saw on the horizon not only a huge spruce. There, beyond the end of the earth, evil and cold clouds were advancing in a dark front onto the valley. Winter will be cold this time.

The lumberjacks passed the small edges, where forest giants slept in frozen thrones in their icy thrones. They also passed the mirrored caves, in which ghostly echoes settled. The vaults of these passages looked like diamonds in the snow. The lumberjacks moved on, stopping occasionally to rest at a halt. On the way, they encouraged themselves with the words that they would soon return home. Passing a small settlement with large huts, they discovered that this time the outcasts decided to wait out the winter underground. When the lumberjacks began to feed the dogs in the village, the oldest of them said that since the short ones were not on the surface, it means that the winter will be cold. A few hours later, the lumberjacks felt it on their own skin. The onset of frost whipped them over their faces, frightened the dogs. It became difficult to go. However, behind the next edge of the forest, the group saw the purpose of their search. It was a tree trunk. The largest tree in the area.

When the lumberjacks began to lay out the saws and tools, a blizzard came. They had to light the brightest lanterns in order to distinguish their own silhouettes. The senior lumberjack walked over to the fir-tree. Its luxurious and lush branches boasted of their beauty. And when he wanted to bring up the ax for the first blow, a magic man appeared from under the roots. His skin was covered with bark, which folded into a fancy beard. The forester threw up his hands and shouted to the woodcutters. They were dumbfounded, staring at the tree creature. For a long time, he begged them not to touch the tree, to spare its tender bark. Then the foresters asked the magic man what they should bring to the city, because their people are waiting them with a tree.

The forest man smiled and a second later a sprout appeared in his hands. He gave it to the lumberjacks, and said that at the right time, they would no longer need the tallest tree. With longing, the lumberjacks accepted the gift, but they did not resist nature, especially when it came to stop them. After three days, they returned to the city, tired and disappointed. We met them with surprise and understanding. Blizzard weather has already reached those places. For the lumberjack families, the biggest gift was their return. The chief woodcutter came to the square where the spruce usually stood. He raked the earth with his hands and put the sprout there. Christmas was approaching and all residents came out to the square to celebrate it together. And what was their surprise when the little seedling began to glow and grow violently. A magical light enveloped the main tree, illuminating the entire space around. The lumberjacks looked up and realized that they would no longer have to go deep into the forest, because they already had the largest spruce in the area. “Merry Christmas!” shouted all villagers. “Merry Christmas!” responded lumberjacks.

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