The heartfelt message behind Shel Silverstein’s 1964 children’s book, The Giving Tree has made its way off the pages and into real life thanks to one Oakland, California, resident. 

A tree along a city sidewalk in the Lake Merritt neighborhood of Oakland was cut down last week, leaving behind just a small stump and thick piece of bark shooting upward to create a seat. A passerby noticed the new stump resembled the ending pages of Silverstein’s classic work and scrawled a short inscription on the bark. 

For those somehow unacquainted with the book, which has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, the story revolves around a tree that, over a lifetime, gives one little boy everything he needs including branches to climb on, shade to sit under, wood for building his home, and, finally, at the end of the now elderly man’s life, a tree stump to sit upon and rest. To this day, the book’s true meaning is still hotly contested between it being a message of unconditional love or a warning about the perils of selfishness. 

The quote on the tree stump reads:

“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.

And the tree was happy.

The stump has become somewhat of a landmark in the lakeside neighborhood. The original photo, which was shared to reddit, has been upvoted more than 76,000 times. It’s only a matter of time before the book once again becomes a best seller. Hopefully all the trees going into the making of said books will be happy. 

An interesting read via GOOD

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