The Magic Pear Tree
A retelling of a Chinese Fairy Tale
It was a fine day at the market place. The square was packed with shoppers, buying food and supplies. Everyone was excited to see one particular vendor-the farmer who brought the pears.
“He has the most delicious pears,” a woman said, licking her lips in anticipation of biting into one.
“They are luscious, sweet and oh, so juicy,” said another customer.
“We come here just to get his pears,” said the man behind them, waiting to get his pears.
People crowded around the pear farmer’s wheelbarrow, piled high with large, perfectly formed pears. The farmer gave out the pears one at a time, pocketing his customers money, a smile on his face.
“I am going to make a lot of money today. I am glad I raised my price,” the farmer whispered to himself, his eyes greedily looking over the large crowd in front of his wheelbarrow.
“May I have one pear, please?” A feeble, old priest asked as he stood in front of the wheelbarrow.
“I have no money for I am a priest as you can see. I gave away all my clothes, my possessions, and money when I joined the priesthood. I can’t pay you but I would love to have one of your pears to eat. I am very hungry.” The priest waited patiently.
“No, you may not,” said the farmer. “These pears are the best around, and everyone must pay for them. No one gets one for free!” The farmer frowned at the priest.
The crowd watched as the priest asked nicely for a pear again and the farmer got madder and madder. Soon the farmer was shouting mean sayings at the priest.
“Why don’t you just give him one pear? What can one pear hurt you?” said a person in the crowd.
Finally, a man pushed his way forward, got money out of his purse, and bought the priest a pear.
The priest thanked him, walked a few steps away from the farmer, and said, “I am a priest so I have nothing as you can see. I don’t understand how a man can be so selfish and greedy like this farmer. But I have some delicious pears myself, and I will GIVE each of you one of them.”
“Why didn’t you just eat one instead of begging?” asked someone in the crowd.
“Well, I have to grow them first,” said the priest. He ate the pear from the farmer, ate it all up until there was just a seed left. The priest dug a hole in the ground, put the seed in it, and covered it up.
As the crowd watched, a green sprout burst thru the ground. It grew and grew until it became a beautiful pear tree, bursting with luscious pears. The priest picked them and gave them to the crowd that had gathered around him.
Soon the pears were gone. The priest cut down the pear tree, threw it over his shoulder, and walked down the road, out of town.
The farmer, meanwhile, was stuck at the back of the large crowd. He couldn’t see what was happening even though he jumped up and down. When the crowd started to leave, the farmer turned around to see that his wheelbarrow was empty! Not a pear to be found.
The priest had given away all his pears. The farmer was furious. And, to make matters worse, one of the handles of his wheelbarrow was missing.
The farmer ran after the priest. He ran down the road, but the priest was nowhere to be seen. But, lying off to the side of the road, he found the handle to his wheelbarrow!
The priest had used it to grow the pear tree and give away the farmer’s pears.
The townspeople laughed at the farmer. No one ever saw the priest again.
Have a great day.