Chas, the Crooked, Little Redbud Tree
Once upon a time, there was a little redbud tree that was planted by a bird at the edge of a farm. Also on the edge of the farm, there was an apple tree and a cedar. The cedar had been there for a couple decades and was already getting big and lush with thick needles. The apple tree had also been there for a while. She was producing delicious apples and beautiful blossoms.
The redbud was planted there beside the apple and cedar. It was pretty much a miracle that the seed took at all with the crowd that was around. But take it did. And before long it began to grow. It had to suffer through adversity. The cedars bulky needles crowded out the sun. The apple tree’s blossoms created shadows and it’s apples fell dangerously close to the weak little redbud.
But throughout the adversity, the redbud continued to grow, crooking it’s trunk and spreading it’s limbs to reach the light. Taking its bumps and bruises and suffering the elements. But still it grew. It grew taller and thicker and persevered. Each spring it’s pretty, purple blossoms would appear between the cedar and the apple tree. Each spring it would show it’s beauty despite its circumstances, never once being squashed by the hardships it had to endure.
Until one day a farmer came along. He saw the struggling redbud and examined it. Surely this contorted little tree needed to be put out of its misery. However, as the farmer began to examine the situation, he noticed a problem with the apple and cedar trees. It turned out that even though they were big and strong, they were unhealthy (it turns out that apple and cedar trees are prone to a particular fungus and will pass it back and forth).
They farmer wasn’t happy, but he knew he had to cut down the cedar and the apple trees. So, he set about and got them both down. And when he did, he saw the little, crooked redbud tree still standing, alive and well sprouting his purple blooms. The farmer realized that the little, crooked redbud tree was the real treasure there. So he left it and let it bloom and enjoy the sun for the first time unobstructed and free.