It was the day all the young Christmas trees at Over Farm had been waiting for.
Christmas was just two weeks away and all the trees were bristling with excitement hoping for a lovely home to go to. A home with children who would dress them up in sparkling tinsel and twinkling fairy lights.
Chris - the biggest and strongest tree in the field was hoping for a big house with a roaring fire to stay at over Christmas.
"I'm the tallest tree in the field," he declared. "I'm seven foot tall and all my branches are beautifully straight - I'm going to get a brilliant house this Christmas."
Tina was the prettiest tree in the row. Her green pines smelt the sweetest in the whole of Gloucestershire and her branches were delicate but strong.
"I want a home with little girls," she squealed. "I hope they dress me up all pink and glittery."
Bauble was the naughtiest tree in the field at Over Farm and he was itching to get out of the mud and into a cosy home to cause some Christmas mischief.
"I want a home with a dog in it," said Bauble. "Preferably quite a naughty dog so we can have some fun pinching all the little chocolates which will be hanging off my branches and pulling all the crackers when everyone is asleep."
As the trees were chatting away merrily they heard the roar of Rob the farmer's magnificent red tractor coming over the hill.
"Stand tall trees," shouted Chris. "Rob's on his way and you need to look your best."
Bauble ignored the order and started flicking bits of mud at the other trees.
Rob was a friendly farmer with bright red cheeks and a flat cap in which a little mouse called Trumpet lived.
Trumpet poked his pink nose out of Rob's cap and looked up and down the line of smart Christmas trees to see if they measured up this year. He nibbled on a bit of Double Gloucester cheese he had been saving since October. It was very, very smelly - just the way Trumpet liked it.
"Let's be having you then," said Rob as his tractor came to halt in the deep mud producing a farty noise which made Bauble giggle.
One by one Rob pulled out the beautiful trees - the burly Nordman firs with their chunky branches and the delicate Scots pines with their brilliant green foliage.
Tina let out a giggle of delight as Rob gently lifted her out of the field and placed her on the back of his tractor. Chris let out a mighty roar like a muscleman lifting a really heavy weight and Bauble just kept trying to re-create the farty noise he had heard Rob's tractor making.
The warm Winter sun glistened against the frosty bright red tractor paint and made all the trees think of Father Christmas with his big red coat and white whiskers.
When Rob had finished he poured himself a cup of warm sweet tea from his flask and gave Trumpet a little tickle as he looked at all the lovely Christmas trees stacked up on the back of his tractor.
He finished his tea and was about to climb back on his tractor when he spotted a flash of green out of the corner of his eye. Hiding away in a corner of the field was a little Christmas tree.
It wasn't the prettiest tree and it certainly wasn't the tallest. In fact it was a bit scraggly looking with wonky branches and baldy patches at the top.
"Oh dear little tree, who is going to want you," said Rob as he trudged towards the last tree in the field.
"That's Timmy - the ugliest tree in Gloucestershire," said Chris (the big tree) as he jostled to get comfy on the back of Rob's tractor.
Timmy pulled himself up as straight as he could and tried to puff out his branches to make them look as bushy as possible.
Trumpet poked his nose out of Rob's cap and sniffed at Timmy before returning to his smelly cheese lunch which was much interesting than a spindly Christmas tree like Timmy.
"We'll have to put you on the unloved Christmas tree pile," said Rob as he threw Timmy onto the back of the big red tractor.
Timmy tried hard not to cry as all the other trees were watching but deep down he was really, really upset.
"No family is going to want a Christmas tree like me," said Timmy as the tractor ploughed through the mud and towards Over Farm.
Back at the farm shop all the trees were lined up and given special price tags depending on how splendid they were.
Chris had a big shiny £50 price tag and Tina of course had the prettiest tag with £35 written on it.
Bauble didn't have a ticket on. Rob had tried and tried to tie one on him but he kept pulling it off and throwing it away every time he turned his back.
Soon the customers started arriving and the trees started flying out. Rob was so busy selling trees Trumpet nearly fell out of his cap and he only managed to hang on by a whisker.
On the Saturday before Christmas a family with a very naughty terrier dog called Tony and cheeky twins called Tommy and Tamara arrived at the farm looking for the perfect tree.
After Tony had sniffed every tree thoroughly - and wee'd up a few - he stopped at Bauble and started barking. "This one, this one," sang the twins excitedly as Bauble behaved for just long enough for the dad to pick him up.
As the sun set on Over Farm all the trees had been sold and were off to lovely homes across Gloucestershire. Rob the farmer was so pleased with his Christmas tree sales he decided to treat himself to a little glass of cider and some cheese and crackers. As he munched on the Stinking Bishop cheese crackers, slipping Trumpet a little nibble every now and again, he glanced around the empty space where all his trees had been.
Just then he spotted Timmy the ugliest Christmas tree in Gloucestershire slumped in a dark corner.
Timmy was looking very sorry for himself. His spindly branches were droopy and his pine needles were falling off one by one leaving his bald patches balder than an egg.
"What are we going to do with you," said Rob. "We'll have to put you in the unloved Christmas tree box I'm afraid."
Timmy felt awful. All his friends had been sold ages ago and were probably all sitting in Christmas homes being loved by the families who had bought them.
Rob pulled the box marked 'unloved' to the front of the farm shop and left it by the roadside. As the sun dipped behind May Hill a gloom fell over the farm and Timmy felt very, very alone.
Cars drove by and some stopped to look at the little lonely Christmas tree but none stopped. One car drove up and a very rude young boy leant out of the window and shouted: "Look at that ugly Christmas tree - no wonder no-one loves it."
Timmy just wanted to be back in the field he had grown up in where he would be out of sight and out of mind.
Just because he looked a bit different to the other trees and wasn't as strong or tall or pretty noone had chosen Timmy.
"This is the worst Christmas ever," he thought to himself as Rob the farmer started locking up the farm shop for the night.
Just then Timmy heard a strange sound in the distance. It was like no sound he had ever heard before and it was getting closer and closer. Timmy looked down the road and saw bright red, white and blue glowing lights drawing ever closer up the road. As the lights moved closer Timmy started to hear the sound more clearly. It was a mixture of bells and whistles and trumpets all jangling along merrily.
Rob the farmer heard the commotion and walked out towards the roadside where Timmy sat in the 'unloved' box. Glancing down the road he saw the mass of lights approaching and recognised the sound.
"It can't be the Royal party can it," said Rob out loud.
But as the procession came closer and closer and the bells and whistles became louder and louder Rob could not believe his eyes - it was indeed the Royal party.
A magnificent limousine Hummer drew up and stopped outside Rob's farm. You couldn't see inside the car as all the windows were blacked out but Rob could tell from the number plate 'Queenie 1' that this was somebody rather important.
Rob took of his cap and bowed so quickly he sent Trumpet the mouse flying into a big pile of sprouts.
"Your Majesty," said Rob "What an honour it is to finally meet you."
A window rolled slowly down and a ladies arm in a beautiful white glove protruded from within the car.
"Sir, I am on my way to visit my son Prince Charles at Highgrove and I have forgotten to buy him a present," said the Queen in a rather squeaky but lovely voice.
"I see you have an unloved Christmas tree there and he looks absolutely ideal," she added.
"No Christmas tree should ever be unloved and in the New Year I am going to pass a law which says so," said the Queen.
With that one of her butlers jumped out of the Hummer limo and picked up Timmy who was now positively bursting with excitement.
"What a lovely tree ma'am," said the butler as he carefully put Timmy onto the seat right next to the Queen.
"When we get home I'm going to make sure you are most splendid and best loved Christmas tree in the whole of Great Britain," said the queen.
And do you know what? When Timmy arrived at Highgrove he was dressed from tip to roots in the finest decorations in the land and he had the best Christmas ever.