“ Can you give me a house?” The boy asks standing close to the huge tree.
“ I have no house,” replies the tree. The forest is my house, but you may cut off my branches and build a house.Then you will be happy.” The tree smiles.
The boy without any further thought, cuts off the tree branches to build his own house. It hurts the tree but she keeps quiet. She is just delighted to see the boy, her childhood friend.
“ Disgusting! So ungrateful! Selfish boy!” Hope uncrosses her legs, sits upright, legs drawn in and her eyebrow bends. She closes the book with a thump and hides it deep behind the other books in the walnut bookcase. As she turns around,she hears her mother’s voice from the kitchen.
“ Hope!It is almost time for school.”
Hope glances at the windsor cherry finish clock on the wall. It is almost 8.30 am. She marches through the narrow hallway to the dining room to grab her lunch box. Something fluttering out the glass window caught her eyes. A bright cardinal sitting in the pine tree and staring directly at her. For a moment their eyes locked, and they look at one another their heads slightly tilted. “Welcome my new friend!” The cardinal chirps and then takes a flight, cheerfully. Hope’s gaze returns to the dining table.
“Did you memorize the timetable?” Her mother sips her tea, trying to look at her sideways with the cup at her lower lip.
“O, snap!” Hope nods her head in disbelief and tries to find out a reasoning.That is the main reason that she wakes up real early but she completely forgot! It must be the way she has arranged her books in the book shelve. Her study room has two doors. If you enter from the right side, then immediately you will notice the school books in the bottom shelve. But from the left side of the entrance your eyes directly fall on the wonderful story books. Well,there is no other reasons to verify this event, so she must have the right conclusion. Now she realizes that instead of memorizing the time table, why she read a few pages of the book The Giving Tree.And she does not like the greedy, self-centered boy at all. “ Nope ! Nope! The friendship is such an amazing thing and the boy did not care to keep it! And on the other hand the tree is so affectionate, so kindhearted and so thoughtful! I am confident that my tree friends are wonderful like the tree in the book.
“Hope! Did you memorize or not? You need to focus more on your math.” her mother looks directly at her, one eyebrow arched.
Hope does not like to lie to her mother. There is something mysterious in mother’s eyes! They understand your inner feelings without any confession.She bends down to tie her shoes avoiding her mother’s eyes.” Don’t worry mom, it will be fine.I am getting late for school. Bye.” She leaves and her mother tilts her head back to sip the warm tea.
The bell rings for the first class.Hope sits with her two elbows on the small table, her hands clasped in front of her, her two fingers leaning against each other and against her thin pink lips.Hope tries her best to remember the time table before the class starts. She could remember up to the 7 but gets stuck in the eight table. The door opens and math teacher appears.He sits on his chair, takes the roll calls. He closes the book,pushes the chair to one side and abruptly stands up. He starts to ask question in a random order. Suddenly his eyes falls on Hope.
“ Hope! Please stand up. What is eight times eight?
Hope tries to count in her head. She stands straight. “ Sixty two.”
“It is hard to hear your voice. Come to the front of the class and speak clearly.”
Hope’s forehead and palms are warm and sweaty. As she tries to walk her way from her seat, her unstable nervous hand bumps into other notebooks and they fall in a pile. All the student’s curious eyes are on her. She does not know where to look. “ Sorry! Pardon me!” She tries to picks up the books from the floor.
She stands in the front. Her unstable nervous hands squeeze both sides of her maroon skirt.She closes her eyes for a second to do her prayer but suddenly she forgets the right one. Instead she begs the wonderful, kind tree of the story book. “Please help me.I will be your best friend forever and will not hurt you in any way.”
“ What is eight times eight?” A deep voice echoes.
A long breath.
Hope opens her eyes to answer. “ Sixty two.”
“What?” Now the voice is not only deeper but it sounds more angrier.
“Sorry, it is sixty four for sure.” Her voice is confident.
“ Excellent!Next week I will start the question with you so be prepared. You may go back to your seat.” The math teacher turns his attention to the class.
That evening after school, Hope opens the iron gate of her house and runs to the garden. She has to give this wonderful news first to all her friends in the vast garden.