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The next morn, Mary Anne heard Mr. Smith talking. "You know, Dawn, we won't be able to keep this tree long after Christmas."

"Well, why not? I love seeing the lights and ornaments and the angel at the top."

"Don't you remember, Dawn? We have a real tree this year, not a fake one, and we're going to plant the tree in our garden. It's big enough since we moved here."

"Oh, silly me!" gasped Mrs. Smith.

Mary Anne was worried. It was so much easier to have an artificial tree, because every year you could be in the same tree, and artificial trees produce more pine. Now Mary Anne knew why the tree wasn't producing so much pine, and why the ornaments couldn't adjust to the tree this year! Mary Anne wanted to faint of worries. How could her precious tree survive without food? And what if something happened with having to make new adjustments every year? Then Mary Anne decided she should sleep on the matter. Besides, it was getting very late.

When Mary Anne woke up the next day, she made her morning daily greeting and a very important announcement. "Good morning, Tree! I have a very important announcement to make: This tree is not an artificial tree, so it doesn't produce so much pine, and this could mean making new adjustments every year."

"That worries me," said the oldest ornament on the tree, a small brass rocking chair with blue satin material on it for the cushion. "I can't get around very well as it is, but having new adjustments every year could get tricky. And if I don't have enough food it will be very tricky, for everyone else too.

"Tree, I know this is going to be hard," said the angel comfortingly, "but we have to live through it, and we have to make the best of what we have. I'm worried too." The tree knew they had to try and make the best of it, but it was so hard, no one could stand it.

That night, all the soldiers were gathered in the soldiers' eating spot. "Gruel again," Scott said to his brother, John. "I can't stand it," he complained in agreement.


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