'Cutest. Story. Ever,' U.S. Interior says of a girl and two Yosemite sticks
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri March 1, 2013
Yosemite Junior Ranger "Evie" returned two sticks she took from the park with a note asking they be returned to nature.
- Leave nature as you found it, the National Park Service says
- But a little girl named Evie takes home two sticks from Yosemite National Park
- She feels guilt and returns them in a letter of apology
- Park rangers keep her letter and the two sticks posted on a wall for a year
(CNN) -- It may as well be the 11th Commandment: Leave nature as you found it, the National Park Service says.
So imagine the horror of a little girl named Eve -- no, Evie, to be exact -- when she violated the Eden that is Yosemite National Park.
Her sin: She took home two sticks.
Park Ranger Matt Holly learned of this transgression during a routine day opening hundreds of letters from visitors awed by Yosemite.
The handwritten note from Evie read:
"Dear Park Rangers,
"I am a Yosemite Junior Ranger. I went to Yosemite recently and accidentally brought home two sticks. I know I'm not supposed to take things from the park, so I am sending them back. Please put them in nature.
Touched by her innocence, Holly taped the two sticks to her letter and temporarily hung it over his desk.
It's been hanging there for almost a year, he said.
"We all loved it," the public information officer told CNN this week. "It was so moving to see how small the sticks were."
He contacted the family, who are park regulars, and told them of how Evie's note moved all the park rangers.
They are now preparing to reunite the sticks with their home.
"I think we are about ready to return them to where they belong, back in nature," Holly said. "The family comes here often, they know a lot about the park and she kind of knows where she wants them."
Evie's letter is now being considered for display in Yosemite's visitor center or elsewhere, Holly said.
The U.S. Department of Interior may already have its caption. On its Twitter account this week, the agency commented about the letter of apology from the junior park ranger, a title given to youths between ages 7 and 13 who complete a program while visiting a national park. It said:
"Cutest. Story. Ever."
The unlikely loser of the proposed spending cuts? National parks
CNN's Amanda Watts contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 3:14 PM EDT, Thu May 16, 2013
Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao is using his hero status to fight human trafficking in the Philippines, pushing for an anti-trafficking law.
updated 6:25 PM EDT, Thu May 16, 2013
The U.N. says 70% of rapes committed in Somalia are carried out by men in military uniform. CNN's Nima Elbagir reports.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Fri May 17, 2013
Christiane Amanpour writes an open letter to girls of the world, saying it is time to end the discrimination against girls in education.
updated 3:12 PM EDT, Fri May 17, 2013
Fans gasped when David Beckham wore a sarong. Then there was the nail polish and tattoos. But his masculinity was never in doubt.
updated 10:54 AM EDT, Fri May 17, 2013
Albinos in Tanzania have been attacked and killed because some people believe their body parts bring good luck. But one albino is fighting back.
updated 8:50 AM EDT, Fri May 17, 2013
Terrible results for Dell mean the future seems anything but bright for the PC industry despite a flurry of attempted innovations.
updated 12:00 PM EDT, Fri May 17, 2013
Mario Balotelli has delivered his verdict on his time in the English Premier League -- the AC Milan striker couldn't be happier to have left England.
updated 7:04 AM EDT, Fri May 17, 2013
If you thought Preakness was the poor sister to Kentucky Derby, think again. CNN brings you top five facts from the prestigious horse race.
updated 7:45 PM EDT, Wed May 15, 2013
Natasha Kampusch was held for eight years in an Austrian man's basement. She talks about her road to recovery, exclusively to CNN.
updated 5:36 PM EDT, Wed May 15, 2013
From her hospital bed, Reshma tells CNN about the 17 days she spent trapped under nine stories of rubble in Bangladesh.
updated 6:12 PM EDT, Thu May 16, 2013
A room full of partygoers in San Francisco were given power over a cocktail-making robot controlled by their smartphones.
updated 11:57 AM EDT, Thu May 16, 2013
The cast of "Star Trek Into Darkness" take a break from fighting space villains to answer questions from CNN iReporters.
updated 7:48 AM EDT, Thu May 16, 2013
CNN brings you images capturing moments to remember. Look ahead to the future and chronicle our changing world.