by Baloney Bill
This is a short short story in answer to Bubblegum Jones' fill-in-the-blank challenge.
Once upon a time, there was a holly bush.
Every day, throughout the winter she would display her beautiful red berries nestled among the dark green leaves. She was so proud of them, but she lived in a continual state of minor disappointment because no one seemed to take notice of her stunning display of natural art.
One day, a little girl stopped right before Holly and looked at her for several minutes with a big smile on her face. She brushed the snow off Holly and touched the leaves and the berries. Then she went away. Because of that, Holly felt so much more fulfilled and happy.
A few days later, the little girl came back with another, much taller person. The tall person was smiling, too, and looked just like a larger version of the little girl. She bent down over the bush, and Holly could feel the warmth the two of them felt for her.
The tall one made a couple of cuts of Holly's branches, but it didn't hurt much. Then she arranged the branches and held them up to the light for the little girl and Holly to see.
They were beautiful, and Holly felt so proud. The two gave each other a big hug and walked away then, but Holly was delighted.
She felt so happy and complete having given this gift of herself.