Once upon a time there was a greenhouse, a great place where many elves grew all the plants of the world. Every so often one of the trees would grow crooked, its flowers would wither and fall and its fruit was either rotten or nonexistant. This was looked down upon and such trees were generally thrown out.

Until, that is, one elf decided to keep one of these trees.

"It takes up space!" declared the other elves. "What a preposterous thing!"

"But see," said the elf, "Look in its branches- the rugged beauty!" They looked closer. "No, not like that!"

They stood back aways and had to agree, the jagged edges and splintered wood were not all that bad.

"Let's keep this tree!" said the elf, and soon most of the others were in agreement.

The problem was, then they wanted to keep all the bad trees. Soon they had so many they needed to send them out into the world to make room.

One day the Head Gardener came storming in. "What is happening to my trees!" he shouted, "The people are very displeased with your work! Where are the fruit and the beautiful blossoms?"

The elves turned to point to the elf who had started it but he was nowhere to be seen, so they pointed at each other instead. "They're so much less work than the good trees!" said the elves in unison.

"Work?" thundered the gardener, "The bees are dying off and the people will be too if you keep up this nonsense!"

"Aye, sir..." said the elves, sadly. They trailed off to work.

Gradually the elves realized, once again, that the blooms of the good trees were far more beautiful and smelled much better than the bad trees they had wasted so much time on.

THE END