The Giving Tree.
It's the story of a small boy who is always playing around the tree (picking apples, resting in the shade). That tree brought him so much happiness and fun. Then he got older and started having "adult" problems. And he'd ask the tree for things and since the tree thought if he gave him those trees, the boy (now man) would play and be with him again. But he would take what he needed and leave, only coming back when he needed something. Pretty soon, all that was left was the stump of the tree.
When I was little, this was just a silly book about a tree and a boy. I was in about 2nd grade. I'm in 9th grade now (I know, freshmen) and to relive some old memories, I read it again. It had me at tears. I had grown up (at least a bit) and now understood the way the story worked.
It wasn't just a story about a tree! It was a a book about loving the things that make you happy and never taking advantage of the things and people that love you. The boy had taken everything from the tree (it's apples, it's lumber, it's branches) because the tree wanted the little boy that loved him back. I think if our old children toys could feel, they would feel the same way. Abandoned, left behind. All those barbies you never play with anymore, those dolls and trucks and those weird Baby Alive babies. They all got left behind as we grew up. The little boy grew up as well.
The little boy grew into a person who was busy to sit in the tree's shade, too old to climb it's branches, too mature to make crowns out of it's leaves. It's a metaphor really. I think what it's trying to say is that when people mature and grow into adults, they leave the imagination and the happiness behind. They focus of business, of making money, and not on the things that made them happy.
See, this is something I love about YA and YA authors. Because they are people who haven't let go of their imagination, of what makes them happy. They've held on to their childhood and molded it to make people like us happy. They are those adults that don't leave the tree behind. When i'm older, I won't leave the tree behind.
Writing this makes me want to read it again :) It's a really beautiful story, even though it's not long at all and has pictures and you can only find it in the children's section at the store.
Don't leave the tree behind. YOU need it as much as it needs you!