Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Man Who Planted Trees

This book's appearance was rather pretty because it was small and completely made of paper, even the cover. However, in terms of the story, I was left slightly confused. It is told in the first person.

The man who was narrating said that after travelling for 3 days he met a shepherd. After staying with the shepherd for a few days, he discovered that he was a very quiet man who spent his days tending his flock of sheep and planting oak trees. He did this very calmly and did not get frustrated when most of them didn't grow, and he was quite friendly in a very quiet way. The narrator then left to fight in the 1914 war and did not see the shepherd for many years.

Once the war was over, he went back to visit the shepherd. He finds there are only 3 differences that have happened: the man is slightly older, instead of sheep he has beehives and he's started planting other trees like beeches. This time the narrator stays for longer and helps plant trees and collect new seeds. Of course, by now there is a huge forest.

Eventually the old man becomes a lot more tired but still carries on planting trees. The second world war occurs. The narrator goes to help with that, and comes back when the war is over and again goes to visit the shepherd. The forest is even bigger and lots of people are assuming it is a 'natural' forest.
In the end, after a small village has been built in the forest, the old shepherd dies, no one takes up his job but they do live peacefully in the village.

I'm pretty certain that there's supposed to be some moral or a lesson in this story but I simply can't pick it out. Although it was quite a nice story I think it's a bit obscure for kids my age. So I'm giving it a mere 57 out of 100.

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