A aging tree on a city sidewalk in Oakland, California, was chopped down this week. All that’s left is a stump and a piece of bark that looks an awful lot like a back rest.
So, someone inscribed the final lines from the tender story on the stump. And the picture of the real-life Giving Tree made its way through the internet, tugging hearts and bringing back memories.
“I don’t need very much now,” said the boy. “Just a quiet place to sit and rest. I am very tired.” “Well,” said the tree, straightening Herself up as much as she could, “Well an old stump is good for sitting and resting. Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest. And the boy did.”
It’s no surprise why the book and the tribute speak to so many people.
You probably read the book as a child. Or you read it to your child, or your grandchildren. Or all the above.
First published in 1964, “The Giving Tree” is one of Shel Silverstein’s most beloved children’s poems. It tells the story of a tree that sees a little boy through the many chapters of his life, from childhood to old age. At every stage, the tree offers whatever it has to the boy until nothing remains but a stump on which he rests.
KPIX spoke to the homeowners who cut down the tree and they said they had no choice. The tree was lifting the sidewalk.