The Fall of Freddie the Leaf

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The title of this story changed from The Fall of Freddie the Leaf to Life and Nature in the Heisei 24 (2012) edition of the teachers New Horizon books, the students textbook retained the original name.

New Horizon Book 3 (Heisei 18) pg. 78-83

The Fall of Freddie the Leaf
Word count423
BookNew Horizon
Freddie the leaf.jpg

Spring came. Freddie, the leaf, was born on a branch of a tall tree.
Hundreds of leaves were born on the tree. They were all friends. Together they danced in the breeze and played in the sun.
Daniel was the largest leaf and Freddie's best friend. He knew many things. He explained that they were part of a tree in a park. He also explained about the birds, the sun, and the moon.

Freddie loved being a leaf. Summer was especially nice. Many people came to the park.
"Let's get together and give them some shade," said Daniel. "Giving shade is part of our purpose in life. Making people happy is a good reason for living."
Old people sat under the tree and talked of old times. Children ran around and laughed. It was fun to watch those children.

Summer passed and fall came.
Soon the leaves changed their colors. Some turned red and others turned yellow. Freddie turned purple. They were all very beautiful.
One day a strange thing happened. Some of the leaves were blown off by a strong cold wind. The leaves became frightened. "What's happening?" they said.
"It's the time for leaves to change their home," Daniel said. "Some people call it dying."

"Will we all die?" Freddie asked.
"Yes," Daniel answered, "Everything dies."
"I won't die!" said Freddie.
But his friends started to fall one after another. Soon the tree was almost bare.
"I'm afraid of dying," Freddie told Daniel.
"We're all afraid of things we don't know," Daniel said. "But you were not afraid when spring became summer, or when summer became fall. Changes are natural."

"Will we return in spring?" Freddie asked.
"I don't know, but Life will. Life lasts forever, and we're a part of it," answered Daniel.
"We only fall and die. Why are we here?" Freddie asked again.
Daniel said, "For the friends, the sun, and the shade. Remember the breeze, the people, and the colors in fall. Isn't that enough?"
That afternoon, Daniel fell with a smile. Freddie was the only leaf left on his branch.

The first snow fell the next morning.
The wind came and took Freddie from his branch. It did not hurt at all.
As he fell, he saw the whole tree for the first time. He remembered Daniel's words, "Life lasts forever."
Freddie landed on the soft snow. He closed his eyes and went to sleep.
He did not know this. But, in the tree and the ground, there were already plans for new leaves in spring.

Official translation

Taken from the New Horizon's teachers manual.





「わからないよ、でも 『命』 は戻るよ。 『命』は永遠に続くからね。そして、ぼくたちはその一部なんだよ」 とダニエルは答えました。
「ぼくたちは落ちて死ぬだけなんだ。それじゃなぜここに生まれたの?」 とフレディがまたききました。
ダニエルは言いました。「友達や、太陽や木陰のためだよ。覚えているだろう、あのそよ風や、人々や、秋の色を? それだけでいいじゃないか?」

落ちながら、フレディは初めて木の全体を見ました。「『命』 は永遠に続く」 というダニエルのことばを思い出しました。


  • The Fall of Freddie the Leaf is a 1982 book by American author Leo Buscaglia.

See also