Wednesday, August 31, 2005

But Not Really

In the story The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, the tree incrementally throughout the tale gives everything she has to the little boy she loves (e.g., first her shade, then her apples, then her branches, etc). Every time she gives him something that makes him happy, the story reads, "And the tree was happy." After she gives him her trunk and has nothing left to give, though, "And the tree was happy" is followed by "but not really." But just that one time.

The kids don't get that this phrase only appears once in the story and instead have collectively decided to insert it every single time we read "And the tree was happy" [hear in unison, "But not weeeeally"].

And then at the end when the tree realizes that it'll be enough to offer him her stump to rest upon to make him happy, she's once again happy herself. Period. The End. But OUR kids have inserted their own revised ending, which they kind of sing-song at the top of their voices and won't let me close the book until it's said: "BUT YES WEEEEEEEAAAAALLLLLLYYYY".

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