Despite his dwarfish height, Ed (short for Edward) had been told he was destined for greatness. For years, his parents groomed him for the wondrous day, scolding him for not standing up straight or skipping daily exercise.
“Master Shakespeare wrote that some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. You, my boy, will achieve greatness!” his mother used to say. Though he had no idea what that meant or who Shakespeare was, he always nodded in agreement. His head filled with dreams, Ed dutifully complied with every instruction. Every December, he would get a trim, and then put on his best green suit, anxiously anticipating the day he could prove himself.
Decembers came and went, but nothing happened. I suppose you could say Ed was the kind of boy who would get picked last for any team. Still, he never gave up hope.
Until, one crisp December morning, they came.
Everyone else was away, aside from a few layabouts nobody cared for. This was his chance. He stood as straight and still as he could, trying to stretch his two and a half feet as high as they would go. He closed his eyes in a silent wish.
Think tall, think tall, think tall…
“I want that one!” said a squeaky voice, a glove-covered finger pointed in his direction.
At first, he couldn’t believe it. He’d been picked! Him! The honour! All his efforts and sacrifices had paid off. The gilded crown he had dreamed of for so long was finally within reach!
What he hadn’t expected was the chainsaw.
The roar of the machine ensured no one would hear his screams as the blades sliced into his small frame. The ultimate sacrifice.
Not just anyone can be a Christmas tree.