'Cutest. Story. Ever,' U.S. Interior says of a girl and two Yosemite sticks
March 1, 2013 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
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.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 0313 GMT (1113 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0102 GMT (0902 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
With so many new attractions on the way, the next few years are going to be a roller coaster ride.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 0429 GMT (1229 HKT)
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1033 GMT (1833 HKT)
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0915 GMT (1715 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.