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Online Short Stories
The Trouble Tree


The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work. His electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start.

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He sat in stony silence while I drove him home.

On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked towards the front door, he paused briefly at a tall tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. Upon opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed with smiles as he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

He walked me to the car after introducing his family to me. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.

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"Oh, that's my trouble tree." He replied.
"I know that I can't help having troubles on the job but there’s one thing for sure. Troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and children. Hence, I just hang them up on the tree every night when I get home. I pick them up again in the morning. Funny thing is…" he said with a smile,
"…when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there are not nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."


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