Once upon a time it was autumn and the leaves from the poplars were changing colors and falling to the ground. Red and gold color leaves floated and sailed in the wind far away. But there was one poplar leaf that struggled against the wind to stay by the tree.
“Why don’t you want to travel with me?” the autumn wind asked the little golden leaf.
“I don’t want to go away from my tree,” said the poplar leaf.
And the leaf stayed by the tree during the whole season.
Then winter came and the cold wind asked:
“Don’t you wish to visit other places?”
“No, I don’t wish to be far away from my tree,” answered the little leaf.
When spring came and flowers were blooming around the poplars, the leaf felt lonely and too brown among the bright colored roses.
The fresh spring breeze said:
“Come with me, I can take you across gardens of wild flowers, you will see beautiful fields of poplars, birds nesting, butterflies fluttering and children playing.”
“But I have never been anywhere else and I’m afraid of leaving my tree,” said the leaf.
The spring breeze was not so strong as the winter or the autumn wind, but it was very persuasive:
“Why do you wish to stay by the old poplar? You have already fallen and it is time to go. If you stay, you will freeze next winter.”
The little golden leaf was confused. It had never thought of leaving its tree and traveling far away to unknown places.
Summer wind was warm and friendly so it didn’t try hard to persuade the little leaf. The little leaf stayed by the poplar one more season until a new Autumn came and trees turned golden and red again, more leaves fell to the ground and the tenacious wind blew them far and away.
‘Still here, little leaf?’ asked the Autumn wind.
The leaf was cold, tired and lonely. Every season was different and the field around changed, flowers bloomed, birds nested, rain filled ponds and creeks, the sun shined in the mornings and the clouds covered the sky in the afternoons. It had been warm at times and cold other times, with crowds of animals in the summer and mostly deserted during the winter when almost every creature liked to rest. But the little poplar leaf had been beside the tree at all times, scared of being carried away by the wind to unknown places.
One day the wind said:
“This group of poplar leaves is traveling to the south, join them, you might like it there and you won’t be lonely. Otherwise you will finally dry out sitting here by the old poplar tree. Besides, there will be other leaves falling down next autumn and they will need the space.”
“But what will it happen to the poplar?” asked the little leaf.
“The poplar will never be alone: it is strong enough to bloom with new leaves every season.”
The leaf was carried in the wind far away to unknown fields of wild flowers, across mountains and beautiful trails of pebbles shining under the sunlight.
In the winter, the ants from the forest asked the little leaf for its help as a blanket.
During the summer, the blackbird in the mountains asked the leaf to be a sun umbrella for the new baby birds in need of shade. In spring the little leaf helped a ladybug to cross a pond. And then a frog, that was a bit scared of the water, sailed on top of the leaf across the water.
When autumn came once again and the wind kept blowing vigorously, the leaf said:
“It is time I go back and visit my tree.”
The wind answered:
“We have come far away. Now I will carry you back to your old poplar, if that is your wish.”
So the wind carried the little poplar leaf back to the tree. It took three days and three nights and finally the leaf got to where the old poplar stood tall even with crooked branches. The leaf had so many stories to tell the tree that it seemed happier than ever before. The branches sway with the autumn wind that took some leaves in its mighty blow. But not the little leaf: she still had stories to tell the tree, tales of every place she had seen and of all the places she was now ready to visit.