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A Silver Leaf

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A Silver Leaf

   It was a cool winter day, one of those which end without even having begun. She was walking along the railway. Its endless steal metal reflected the dim light of the fading day. The leaden colored sky generously scattered white fluffy snow-flakes down on the hard dark-brown ground. Black bold trees stood still by the both sides of a path. Their branches stood out distinctly against the light gray sky...
   Right of the bed she noticed a queer tree. It had regular pitch-dark trunk and with silver leaves. She couldn't take her sight off the tree, it simply hypnotized her... The tree was uncommonly beautiful...
   She saw the tree leaves began trembling, though she could not feel a whiff of wind... A metallic rustling of the foliage of the tree reached her hearing. Strangely, though, she could easily distinguish a clear and soft voice.
   "Hello, - it said in a low voice close to a whisper. - You think it's impossible for a tree to speak... you're right: I'm not a tree... You wonder who I am, then... Deep in your consciousness you've guessed it already... What am I doing here?.. You know the answer to this question, too..." - it accurately guessed all her thoughts. She could barely believe it...
   "Hope... this is how you call it, it seems to me... Hope is what you've asked me to bring you... You have to find it yourself, my dear... Lonely? Oh, no, you're not lonely!.. You're not lonely, until you have at least one person wishing you goodnight even if you're far away... You're not lonely, until you can admire at least one sincere smile every morning... until you're the reason for this smile..." - the Tree continued softly rustling its silver leaves.
   She stood motionless in front of the Tree... She felt the bitter cold biting her toes and fingers, but still she remained immobile. It was getting darker and darker, but the Tree continued its monologue.
   "Oh, tomorrow's you're birthday, - said the Tree when the dusk had already fallen. - Take it as a present from me..."
   As a soft voice was fading away she saw one of the silver leaves falling down on the white snow easily and softly like a feather.
   She opened her eyes. Her warm blanket was lying on the floor beside her bed. It was still dark outside. She rose from the bed to take the blanket and noticed something glittering on a pillow in a dim light of a street lamp penetrating the room through a thing chink in the curtains. She stretched her arm to get the sparkling thing. She felt a coldness of a metal. Holding her breath she came up to the window with an unknown object in her hand to see what it was... It turned out to be just one of her silver earrings which she had forgotten to take off before going to bed. She smiled to herself and shivering with cold returned to bed, put herself in blanket and instantly fell asleep...

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