“Then I woke up to a sun shining more brightly than I had ever seen it before. I thought for a moment that I was back in the garden, but even in the brightest and hottest summer I had experienced, the sun was never so hot. I could barely unfold my leaves when they began to wilt from the scorching sun. I stretched my roots as far down as I could, but there was no water, anywhere. All I could see around me was sand and a few pokey strange-looking plants, which I recognized from the book that the mother read to her son. It was a cactus. I realized that I was in a desert. Maybe it was the Sahara Desert, the largest and hottest desert in the world. It was much too hot for me and I needed more water than I would get here. Once more, the brighter the sun shone, the feebler I felt, and I could not remember anything more from that desert experience.
“A freezing cold and biting wind began to blow. It was so strong that I thought I would lose all my leaves. If that was not enough, it began to snow; not just a gentle snowfall like I knew from the wintertime in the garden, but a raging snowstorm. I looked around and saw that I was high on a mountain, and there was no shelter to be found. I wondered if it was Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. The wind blew more fiercely and the snow fell harder; I wrapped my leaves and branches as tightly as I could around my swaying trunk and huddled against the storm.
“Then, I felt a warm breeze. I heard the birds chirping sweetly, and the bees buzzing. I could hear the gentle babbling of a stream. I unfolded my leaves to the sun, which was shining just perfectly as I ventured a look around. I was back, in our magical garden. I was just in time to see the little boy come running up and try to climb my little trunk while his mother walked up holding a book beneath her arm.
“I still enjoyed listening to the stories about faraway lands and exciting new places. I now knew, though, that this garden was my home, and I am happiest here, among the plants and flowers, the bees and butterflies, the soft sunshine and gentle rain. This is where I belong, and I am content.”