Why The Aspen Quivers


Long, long ago, so the legend says, when Joseph and Mary and the Holy

Babe fled out of Bethlehem into Egypt, they passed through the

green wildwood. And flowers and trees and plants bent their heads in


But the proud aspen held its head high and refused even to look at the

Holy Babe. In vain the birds sang in the aspen's branches, entreating it

to gaze for one moment at the wonderful One; the proud tree still held

its head erect in scorn.

Then outspake Mary, his mother. "O aspen tree," she said, "why do you

not gaze on the Holy Child? Why do you not bow your head? A star arose

at his birth, angels sang his first lullaby, kings and shepherds came to

the brightness of his rising; why, then, O aspen, do you refuse to honor

your Lord and mine?"

But the aspen could not answer. A strange shivering passed through its

stem and along its boughs, which set its leaves a-quivering. It trembled

before the Holy Babe.

And so from age to age, even unto this day, the proud aspen shakes and


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