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The First Christmas Tree

A Story of the Forest

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Author: Henry van Dyke
Published: 1897
Language: English
Wordcount: 8,537 / 31 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 80.1
LoC Category: BL
Downloads: 967
Added to site: 2005.06.26
mnybks.net#: 10641
Origin: gutenberg.org
Excerpt

He carried a strong, tall staff in his hand, fashioned at the top into the form of a cross.

Close beside him, keeping step like a familiar comrade, was the young Prince Gregor. Long marches through the wilderness had stretched his limbs and broadened his back, and made a man of him in stature as well as in spirit. His jacket and cap were of wolfskin, and on his shoulder he carried an axe, with broad, shining blade. He was a mighty woodsman now, and could make a spray of chips fly around him as he hewed his way through the trunk of spruce-tree.

Behind these leaders followed a pair of teamsters, guiding a rude sledge, loaded with food and the equipage of the camp, and drawn by two big, shaggy horses, blowing thick clouds of steam from their frosty nostrils. Tiny icicles hung from the hairs on their lips. Their flanks were smoking. They sank above the fetlocks at every step in the soft snow.

Last of all came the rear guard, armed with bows and javelins. It was

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