The Schmooze

This Tree Stump Went Viral After Getting A Touching Shel Silverstein Tribute

A tree stump in California was turned into a Shel Silverstein tribute — and it’s giving everybody the feels.

The stump was discovered in a neighborhood in Oakland, carved into a chair, with the last passage from the classic children’s book “The Giving Tree” written in marker.

“Come, boy, sit down. Sit down and rest,” the excerpt concludes. “And the boy did.”

An image of the stump quickly circulated on Instagram and reddit, with users commenting on the powerful impact “The Giving Tree” had on them, while sharing some very personal stories of their own.


“My mom gave me a copy of this book, after my sisters had passed away, I was 9 or 10,” one user wrote on reddit. “She was in a deep dark depression from which she would not come out of for years. At that moment she had nothing to give the world or me any more…. this book makes me cry even today. I’m 33 now.”

Another user commented that she had gotten a tattoo of the tree to pay homage to the children’s book. “I know a lot of people don’t understand the story the way I did, but I was a young woman who had her life transformed by motherhood,” she wrote. “I think the story is a beautiful ode to parental love and sacrifice.”

Others applauded the resourcefulness of the anonymous person who repurposed the stump.

“What a beautiful and sweet way to turn a problem, into a usable space to sit and reflect or just to sit and rest,” another commenter posted. “I Love It!!”

Ironically, Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree” was first rejected by editor William Cole because he thought it fell in the cracks between adult and children’s literature.

In 2011, the beloved book sold more than 5 million copies.

Thea Glassman is an Associate Editor at the Forward. Reach her at glassman@forward.com or on Twitter at @theakglassman.

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This Tree Stump Went Viral After Getting A Touching Shel Silverstein Tribute

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