endid crown lay in the ditch. The keeper chopped all the branches into pieces with his axe.
"Will they become cuttings?" asked the willow, disconsolately.
"They will become faggots," replied the keeper and went on chopping to the last stick.
"Then rather let me die at once," said the willow.
"For the present, you will stay where you are, till the winter is past," said the keeper. "When the snow lies thick and smooth all over the roads, you can do good service as a warning-post against the ditch. What will happen afterwards depends upon the squire."
"That was a fine ending to the cutting-farce," said the oak-tree.
"Poor Willow-Tree!" said the wild rose-bush.
"Thank you," said the willow-tree. "I still feel a little stunned. It is no trifle to lose the whole of one's crown. I don't quite know what's to become of me."
"It's a terrible scandal," said the nearest poplar. "A wholly unprecedented family-scandal. If only they would come and take you away altoget