The Farmer and the Apple Trees
There was once a farmer who was employed by the villagers to grow apples. He lived modestly, and had no plot of land of his own, but the apples he grew in the village common were the best in the land. Those apples were used everywhere, for pies and sauces, cooking and eating. Kings and Queens, wise men and paupers alike knew the juiciest apples came from the village.
One day, some trouble seemed to befall the farmer. The people of the village heard of this and their harsh words drove him away. But the villagers had no one to tend their apple trees, and the trees soon grew wild.
A kind woman took some bread to the farmer. They shared the bread and he told her of his troubles. She told him that the villagers missed their apples, and that they wanted to employ a new farmer to tend the orchard. The villagers had searched far and wide, but no other farmer could be found with such skills of cultivation.
The farmer told the woman that he had no secret. And although he had been treated poorly, the farmer was happy to share what knowledge he had with the villagers.
The villagers visited the farmer. He told them the story of the apple trees.
How he cared for them and tended to their needs. How he mended them if they become damaged, how he watered them deeply, and how he plucked the damaging pests from their bark. How he stopped the weeds from growing too closely, and how he encouraged the butterflies and bees to visit each blossom. The villagers listened carefully and nodded to each other. Yes, yes. Surely another could do this with our trees. But then he gave them more.
He told them that he loved the apple trees as if they were his own children. And that he knew in his soul that the trees would bear fruit.
And the villagers nodded again. They respected this wisdom and faith of the farmer, and the love he had for their trees. They brought him bread, and soup. They nurtured him. After all, he was a treasure. And treasures are hard to find.