Home Mother's Corner Apple Boy

Introduction

Children love stories, and good stories have valuable lessons in them. Thus a very easy way to instil morals and values in our children is through story-telling. In this section, we will be guided as to how to present stories to our children and how to follow them up with lessons.

Apple Boy

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Ask our children:

1. Who comes first, our parents or our friends?

2. How should we treat our parents?       

3. What should we do when our parents get old?

Now tell them the story:

There was once a little boy named Hanzalah. His favourite friend was a big apple tree. Every day he would play around the tree, climb its high branches, eat its red apples and rest under its cool shade. He loved the tree and the tree loved him. However, when the little boy grew up, he stopped visiting the tree. The tree missed him and became very, very lonely.

One day the boy came back to the tree looking very sad. The tree said to him, “You look very worried. Why don’t you play with me? Maybe playing will cheer you up.” The boy replied, “I’m not a child anymore and I don’t play around trees anymore. I want toys and I need money to buy them.” The tree replied, “Sorry, I don’t have any money, but you can have all my apples if you want. If you sell them, you’ll be able to buy all the toys you wish.” The boy grabbed all the apples and happily ran off without even thanking the tree. The tree really missed the boy’s company.

After some years had passed, the boy returned to the tree as a grown up man. The tree was very excited and begged him to spare some time for fun and play. The man said, “I don’t have time to play because I have a family to look after. Right now we need a shelter over our heads.” The tree kindly offered the man, “Chop off my branches to build your house.” The man wasted no time. He cut off all the branches and again ran away without even thanking the poor tree. The tree was pleased to see him happy but really longed for his lively company.

One hot summer’s day, the man returned and now he wanted a boat to go sailing. The faithful tree was all too delighted to offer its trunk to be used as a boat. The man mercilessly chopped the trunk, built his boat and sailed far, far away, leaving the tree all alone for a long, long time.

The man finally returned after many years, only to find that all that was left of his friend, the apple tree, were some old, dying roots lying on the ground. Only now did he realize that the tree had been very selfless and generous. It had given him all its apples for toys, all its branches for his home and even its trunk for his boat. Then the thought went through his mind, “The tree finished itself just for me and I was so selfish and greedy, that I couldn’t even say thank you. How I wish that the tree and I could play again, happy and free.” This thought made the man burst out crying. The tree consoled him by saying, “No need to cry, my dear old friend. If we can’t play together, we can still rest together.” Come, come, sit down with me and let’s remember the happy old days.” The man sat down with a smile and hugged his loving friend, the apple tree.

This is a sad story about all of us. When we were young, we loved to play with mum and dad … but when we grew up, we left them … only returning and remembering them at the time of need. Our parents still cared for us and were always there to cheer us up until the day they quietly left the world. If we think the boy to be cruel, then that is how we sometimes are to our parents. We take them for granted and don’t appreciate all the good they do for us until it is too late.

Lessons:

1. Let us all value our parents.

2. Let us not only return to our parents when we need them.

3. Parents are always there for their children, we need to be there for them as well.

4. We need to make the time to serve our parents and bring a smile to their hearts.