THE MASTER OF THE HARVEST
BY MRS. ALFRED GATTY (ADAPTED)
 THE Master of the Harvest walked by the side of his
cornfields in the springtime. A frown was on his face, for
there had been no rain for several weeks, and the earth was
hard from the parching of the east winds. The young wheat
had not been able to spring up.
So as he looked over the long ridges that stretched in rows
before him, he was vexed and began to grumble and say:—
"The harvest will be backward, and all things will go
Then he frowned more and more, and uttered complaints
against Heaven because there was no rain; against the earth
because it was so dry; against the corn because it had not
And the Master's discontent was whispered all over the
field, and along the ridges where the corn-seed lay. And the
poor little seeds murmured:—
"How cruel to complain! Are we not doing our best? Have we
let one drop of moisture pass by unused? Are we not striving
every day to be ready for the hour of breaking forth? Are we
idle? How cruel to complain!"
But of all this the Master of the Harvest heard
 nothing, so the gloom did not pass from his face. Going to
his comfortable home he repeated to his wife the dark words,
that the drought would ruin the harvest, for the corn was
not yet sprung up.
Then his wife spoke cheering words, and taking her Bible she
wrote some texts upon the flyleaf, and after them the date
of the day.
And the words she wrote were these: "The eyes of all wait
upon Thee; and Thou givest them their meat in due season.
Thou openest Thine hand and satisfiest the desire of every
living thing. How excellent is Thy loving-kindness, O God!
therefore the children of men put their trust under the
shadow of Thy wings. Thou hast put gladness in my heart,
more than in the time that their corn and their wine
And so a few days passed as before, and the house was gloomy
with the discontent of the Master. But at last one evening
there was rain all over the land, and when the Master of the
Harvest went out the next morning for his early walk by the
cornfields, the corn had sprung up at last.
The young shoots burst out at once, and very soon all along
the ridges were to be seen rows of tender blades, tinting
the whole field with a delicate green. And day by day the
Master of the Harvest saw them, and was satisfied, but he
spoke of other things and forgot to rejoice.
Then a murmur rose among the corn-blades.
 "The Master was angry because we did not come up; now that
we have come forth why is he not glad? Are we not doing our
best? From morning and evening dews, from the glow of the
sun, from the juices of the earth, from the freshening
breezes, even from clouds and rain, are we not taking food
and strength, warmth and life? Why does he not rejoice?"
And when the Master's wife asked him if the wheat was doing
well he answered, "Fairly well," and nothing more.
But the wife opened her Book, and wrote again on the
flyleaf: "Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing
of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder, to cause
it to rain on the earth where no man is, on the wilderness
wherein there is no man, to satisfy the desolate and waste
ground, and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring
forth? For He maketh small the drops of water; they pour
down rain according to the vapor thereof, which the clouds
do drop and distil upon man abundantly. Also can any
understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of his
Very peaceful were the next few weeks. All nature seemed to
rejoice in the fine weather. The corn-blades shot up strong
and tall. They burst into flowers and gradually ripened into
ears of grain. But alas! the Master of the Harvest had
 still some fault to find. He looked at the ears and saw that
they were small. He grumbled and said:—
"The yield will be less than it ought to be. The harvest
will be bad."
And the voice of his discontent was breathed over the
cornfield where the plants were growing and growing. They
shuddered and murmured: "How thankless to complain! Are we
not growing as fast as we can? If we were idle would we bear
wheat-ears at all? How thankless to complain!"
Meanwhile a few weeks went by and a drought settled on the
land. Rain was needed, so that the corn-ears might fill. And
behold, while the wish for rain was yet on the Master's
lips, the sky became full of heavy clouds, darkness spread
over the land, a wild wind arose, and the roaring of thunder
announced a storm. And such a storm! Along the ridges of
corn-plants drove the rain-laden wind, and the plants bent
down before it and rose again like the waves of the sea.
They bowed down and they rose up. Only where the whirlwind
was the strongest they fell to the ground and could not rise
And when the storm was over, the Master of the Harvest saw
here and there patches of over-weighted corn, yet dripping
from the thunder-shower, and he grew angry with them, and
 to think of the long ridges where the corn-plants were still
standing tall and strong, and where the corn-ears were
swelling and rejoicing.
His face grew darker than ever. He railed against the rain.
He railed against the sun because it did not shine. He
blamed the wheat because it might perish before the harvest.
"But why does he always complain?" moaned the corn-plants.
"Have we not done our best from the first? Has not God's
blessing been with us? Are we not growing daily more
beautiful in strength and hope? Why does not the Master
trust, as we do, in the future richness of the harvest?"
Of all this the Master of the Harvest heard nothing. But his
wife wrote on the flyleaf of her Book: "He watereth the
hills from his chambers, the earth is satisfied with the
fruit of thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the
cattle and herb for the service of man, that he may bring
forth food out of the earth, and wine that maketh glad the
heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread
which strengtheneth man's heart."
And day by day the hours of sunshine were more in number.
And by degrees the green corn-ears ripened into yellow, and
the yellow turned into gold, and the abundant harvest was
ready, and the laborers were not wanting.
 Then the bursting corn broke out into songs of rejoicing.
"At least we have not labored and watched in vain! Surely
the earth hath yielded her increase! Blessed be the Lord who
daily loadeth us with benefits! Where now is the Master of
the Harvest? Come, let him rejoice with us!"
And the Master's wife brought out her Book and her husband
read the texts she had written even from the day when the
corn-seeds were held back by the first drought, and as he
read a new heart seemed to grow within him, a heart that was
thankful to the Lord of the Great Harvest. And he read aloud
from the Book:—
"Thou visitest the earth and waterest it; thou greatly
enrichest it with the river of God which is full of water;
thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it.
Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly; thou settlest
the furrows thereof; thou makest it soft with showers; thou
blessest the springing thereof. Thou crownest the year with
thy goodness, and thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the
pastures of the wilderness, and the little hills rejoice on
every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks. The
valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy,
they also sing.—O that men would praise the Lord for His
goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of
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