The Giving Boy is a book that mother trees read to their saplings to teach them how to grow up to be good trees themselves.

Once upon a time there was a tree and a boy. The tree and boy looked at each other and thought, “Friend.”

One day the tree remembered it had apples for hair. “If I had hands, I could give myself a haircut,” the tree said. “Friend boy, may I have your hands?”

“Of course,” said the boy, because he was friend. So the tree dropped pickaxes from its boughs and chopped off the boy’s arms.

“Want an apple?” the tree said.

The next day, the tree wanted some sunshine, as trees are wont to do. But all the tall neighbor trees were gobbling up the beams. “If I had legs, I could give myself a boost and reach the sky,” the tree said. “Friend boy, may I have your legs?”

“Of course,” said the boy, because he was handless friend. So the tree picked up a chainsaw with its boy-hands and sawed off the boy’s legs.

“So that’s what it’s like to touch the sky,” the tree said.

Thirty years later, the tree was very tired from doing so many jumping jacks. “If I had a place to sit, I could give myself a rest,” the tree said. “Friend boy, may I have your surface?”

“Of course,” said the boy, who was an old boy now and hadn’t gone anywhere because quadriplegics stay put, and because he was friend. “My face is soft with gangrene.”

So the tree sat down on the boy and felt very comfortable, though morally uncertain.