Once upon a time, there were two trees in a forest. They grew side by side and were fast friends. In the course of time, both of them turned into fully-grown trees, laden with fruit.
In the same forest, there lived many birds and other small creatures, all of whom were very fond of eating fruits. They set their eyes on the two trees to feed themselves.
Though the two trees were fast friends, their nature was quite different from each other. One tree was very generous in sharing its fruits with birds and other creatures. It felt happy whenever any bird sat on its branches to enjoy its fruits. The tree would offer its fruits with love to others.
The other tree, being of the opposite nature, was very selfish. It never wanted to share its fruits and hated the birds and all other creatures. The tree used to think: “I have grown these fruits with so much of labour and pain. If I share these fruits with others, I will be left with no fruits. This way, I will cease to grow.” It thus, decided not to share any of its fruits with others.
The birds and other creatures, on seeing the unselfish and generous behaviour of the first tree, started visiting it to feed themselves. They would all come and sit on its branches and chat for hours together, leaving droppings all over, on the leaves and branches, and on the ground.
On seeing this, the selfish tree would laugh at the other tree and say, “What a fool you are! You share your fruits with these silly creatures and they leave droppings, all over you! They make your surroundings dirty. Look at me, I never share any of my fruits, and my surroundings are very clean.”
The generous tree would listen to all this and would just smile in reply. Mouths went by, and gradually, the selfish tree began to wither. Its fruits also reduced in number, day-by-day.the selfish tree was astonished to see what was happening to it. Finally, in a couple of years the selfish trees lost all of its leaves and became thin and weak. It become withered and sick.
The other tree, unselfish as ever, kept growing and bore fruit aplenty. This was because, the birds’ droppings were acting as manure for the tree, which made the tree bigger, healthier and more bountiful, as time passed.
By this time, the second tree had realized that the cause of its plight was its selfishness. It learnt that the other tree was getting much more in return for what it gave to the birds and other creatures. With this realization, the second tree decided to change itself. It soon became unselfish and began inviting birds and other creatures with a smile.
Soon, the birds and all the other creatures were attracted by its affectionate smile, and started sitting on its branches too. Before long, it grew in health and became bountiful like the other tree.
However capable or intelligent one may be, one grows only through and with others!