THE PARABLE OF THE TREE There was once a Tree growing quietly in an Orchard among many other trees of its kind. It was a pleasant Tree to look at with its green leaves and golden fruit. One day the Specialist, as he passed through the Orchard stopped and looked carefully at the Tree. "H-m-m-m," he said. "That Tree looks good." And the sap began racing through its veins quite merrily at the compliment. "But," the Specialist continued, "so good a Tree should be putting forth larger, finer fruit. I will prune it a little and see what happens." And the pruning shears lopped off a branch here ' and , a twig there. The Tree winced. It hurt! But it was a brave Tree and so it went on growing, replacing the lost parts with better ones. When next the Specialist came he saw how well the Tree had recovered and he said, "There is great material in this Tree. Its roots are strong and healthy. It could become the finest Tree in the Orchard. I think I will cut it well back and next year it will be wonderful." So the pruning knife cut and clipped again and again till the poor Tree felt as if life itself was almost gone. It faded and drooped. But the fine roots sent up a message. "We are all right! Do not give up! The Specialist understands what he is doing even though you do not. If you were not so brave and 路 fine a Tree he would not bother with you so. But he knows what you can become. And so he cuts you back and hurts you, for he knows what he is doing and that only so can you become the finest kind of a Tree and bear the most perfect fruit." And the Tree roused itself and said, "I will trust the Specialist although I cannot understand." And amidst its pain a~d seeming setbacks the Tree kept on growing until it became the most beautiful Tree in all the region round about and its fruit was so perfect that it found its way into sickrooms and gave health, and into beautiful homes and added beauty.