THE UNFRUITFUL TREE
BY FRIEDRICH ADOLPH KRUMMACHER
A FARMER had a brother in town who was a gardener, and who
possessed a magnificent orchard full of the finest fruit
trees, so that his skill and his beautiful trees were famous
One day the farmer went into town to visit his brother, and
was astonished at the rows of trees that grew slender and
smooth as wax tapers.
"Look, my brother," said the gardener; "I will give you an
apple tree, the best from my garden, and you, and your
children, and your children's children shall enjoy it."
Then the gardener called his workmen and ordered them to
take up the tree and carry it to his brother's farm. They
did so, and the next morning the farmer began to wonder
where he should plant it.
"If I plant it on the hill," said he to himself, "the wind
might catch it and shake down the delicious fruit before it
is ripe; if I plant it close to the road, passers-by will
see it and rob me of its luscious apples; but if I plant it
too near the door of
 my house, my servants or the children may pick the fruit."
So, after he had thought the matter over, he planted the
tree behind his barn, saying to himself: "Prying thieves
will not think to look for it here."
But behold, the tree bore neither fruit nor blossoms the
first year nor the second; then the farmer sent for his
brother the gardener, and reproached him angrily, saying:—
"You have deceived me, and given me a barren tree instead of
a fruitful one. For, behold, this is the third year and
still it brings forth nothing but leaves!"
The gardener, when he saw where the tree was planted,
laughed and said:—
"You have planted the tree where it is exposed to cold
winds, and has neither sun nor warmth. How, then, could you
expect flowers and fruit? You have planted the tree with a
greedy and suspicious heart; how, then, could you expect to
reap a rich and generous harvest?"