DOC

There once was a man who was the son of an eccentric old man who

By Maria Watson,2014-06-26 18:49
6 views 0
There once was a man who was the son of an eccentric old man who ...

    The Farmers and Their Oranges

    There once was an eccentric old man who lived in a far away land, who mumbled to himself, who slept on the ground, and who owned a farm that he had inherited from his ancestors.

    On his farm the eccentric old man grew orange trees which produced the most excellent oranges. In fact, many people would say that his were the best oranges in the whole wide world. Nobody could understand why his oranges were so good, because they never saw him tending to the trees or doing anything that would seem to help them grow. But nevertheless, each year all the trees on the farm yielded the most wonderful fruit. Thus, the eccentric old man was known as the Farmer and every year people from near and far would always come to gather up his oranges and eat them.

    Now the Farmer had a son who over the course of time had learned everything there was to know about the Farm and growing oranges from his father. It was clear that the son had become a master farmer in his own right, though no one could quite figure out how this came to be, because the son and his eccentric old father didn’t seem to talk to each other much. Nevertheless, when people had questions about the Farm or oranges, they were instructed to go to the son and he would provide them with the answers they needed.

    One day the Farmer died. This made the people very sad because they had grown to love this eccentric old man very much, the strange things that he did, and the magnificent oranges that he provided for them. Not knowing what they would do, everyone fell into despair.

    The son, however, continued to remember his father and began to take care of the Farm and the oranges using all that he had learned throughout his life. And so it came to pass that the son became known as the Farmer and the eccentric old man continued to be remembered as the Grandfather. And the people once again exclaimed that the Farmer’s oranges were the best oranges in the whole wide world.

    Now the Grandfather knew that the day would come when he would have to leave this world, so before he left, he took his son aside and told him a few things. He told the son that one day he would be known as the Farmer, and that one day he would provide oranges for a lot of people. He told him some other things also.

Time passed, the people ate the oranges, and the Farm began to grow.

    Now it happened to be that even though the Grandfather did not read a lot during his life, the Farmer did like to read many different kinds of books, even when he was young, and even though his father teased him about reading too much. So after the son had become the Farmer, and after a number of seasons, the Farmer decided that the time had come to

    1

    Copyright ? 2003 by Matthew Weiss

    The Farmers and Their Oranges

    write some books of his own. This pleased the people very much, because the books that he wrote were all about all the ways to grow the best oranges in the world.

    Now it happened to be that the land in which the Farmer had lived his whole life had a climate that was very favorable to the cultivation of oranges and had been that way for many generations. The name of the land in which he lived was “The East”.

    Now it also happened to be that there existed another land rich in soil, sun , rain, and all the resources needed for good farming. In this land there were apples, cherries, mangoes, kiwis, grapefruits, lemons, limes, bananas, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, huckleberries, and other tasty fruits. But not a lot of oranges. This land which was far away from the Farmer’s own was known as “The West”.

    The day came when the Farmer realized that it was time gather up all his best books, all his best oranges, and all his best friends, and travel to the West so that everyone in the world could learn about oranges, orange farming in the East, and how to farm oranges in the West. And so they all got on a jet plane and flew to the West.

    Now there were people in the West who had already eaten a lot of grapefruits or lemons or limes, and some of them even new how to grow them. So when they ate some of the Farmer’s oranges they marveled at how delicious oranges are, how sweet oranges are,

    how tangy oranges are, how soft and leathery are oranges’ skin, how round oranges are, how orange oranges are, and so on. They loudly exclaimed that oranges are most definitely the best, most delicious fruits in the whole wide world! (They were doing this while jumping up and down, swaying to and fro, standing on their heads, flapping their arms, and so on. Some were so overcome that tears would roll down their cheeks, others would speak with trembling voices, and still others were so moved that they could only remain silent for a while.)

    And so the people of the East and the people of the West embraced each other in their own way. And the people of the West enthusiastically began eating the Farmer’s oranges. And they plowed fields and began growing their own oranges according to all the instructions given to them by the Farmer and the instructions that were written in the Farmer’s books. And finally, after a time, the Farmer and most of his friends returned to the East.

    The people of the West began to visit the Farmer at his home in the East. They liked being with him and loved to eat the oranges that he gave to them. He loved them also and continued to teach them all the ways to grow better and better oranges.

    The Farmer taught the people when to plant the seeds, how much water to give them, what kind of plant food orange trees need, how to prune the trees, how to protect them from insects and the various diseases that orange trees get, what plants to put next to the trees, and so on. He taught them the names of all the different types of oranges, the right

    2

    Copyright ? 2003 by Matthew Weiss

    The Farmers and Their Oranges

    times of day to eat oranges, how much oranges to eat at each meal, what kinds of foods go best with oranges, and so on. And he taught them what kinds of songs to sing while eating oranges, what songs are the best to help the trees grow, and what kinds of songs to sing to make the people strong enough to take care of the trees.

    And the people sang the songs and did all the things that the Farmer told them to do and the Farm grew and grew.

    Time passed and soon the Farmer decided that it would be good to return to the West to see what oranges in the West taste like, and to show more people how to grow oranges that are just like the ones in the East. And so the Farmer and his friends once again got on a jet plane and flew to the West.

    Now the people of the West, having eaten a number of different fruits throughout their lives, had grown accustomed to thinking of themselves as a rather sophisticated lot, with a rather refined palate, and brought up in such a way as to behave with good manners. Having had the time to contemplate the nature of the Farmer and his oranges, they were ready this time to receive him properly, and help him to understand the ways of the people of the West.

    Once again the people of the East and the people of the West embraced each other in their own way, and ate some oranges together and sang some songs. Then, having eaten and sung to their fill, some of the people of the West mentioned to the Farmer that they were having a little trouble peeling their oranges before eating them. “Wouldn’t it be great”, they said to the Farmer, “if we could give people oranges without the peel. Certainly, more people would like oranges a lot better if they did not have to peel them.”

    “Very good”, the Farmer said, wondering what weakness of fingers must be intrinsic to the people of the West that makes it so hard for them to peel oranges. And so a small group of people set upon all the crates of oranges that the Farmer had brought with him and peeled all the oranges for everyone.

    The following morning everyone was given an orange to eat with breakfast, as had been the tradition up to that point. The only difference was that this morning’s oranges arrived in the dinning hall already peeled. The people appreciated that it took less time to eat them, that they didn’t get orange peels underneath their fingernails, and so on. Again, at lunchtime, peeled oranges were distributed, but these ones didn’t taste exactly right

    because they had been sitting in the crates in a peeled state for a while. By dinnertime, no oranges were distributed because all the rest of the peeled oranges had spoiled.

    Once the next shipment of oranges arrived, it was decided to once again have everyone peel their own oranges at meals, while the small group of people researched a better solution to their problem.

    3

    Copyright ? 2003 by Matthew Weiss

    The Farmers and Their Oranges

    A few days later, the small group of people approached the Farmer and suggested that after having peeled all the oranges, they should put them in cans to preserve them until such time as they could be eaten. “Fine”, the Farmer said, wondering how it was that opening a tin can to get to the edible part of an orange was better than simply peeling an orange. Some of the more clever people sensed the Farmer’s doubt and added that

    canned oranges can be stored even longer than unpeeled oranges so now there will never be any problem with the oranges ever spoiling again. “Very good”, said the Farmer, wondering what canned oranges would taste like.

    And so arrangements were made to send the next shipment of oranges to a nearby cannery where they could be processed, canned, and stored for later consumption. After a few days, the first batch of canned oranges arrived and were served to the people at the next meal. The people did not like the canned oranges very much, nor did the Farmer, so he told the small group of people they had better throw them out and find some normal unpeeled oranges for everyone to eat! (He did this while jumping up and down, flapping his arms, standing on his head, and so on. In fact, he was shouting at the top of his lungs with such force that many of the people ran away with tears rolling down their cheeks. The rest of the day, people only spoke softly and with trembling voices. Others were so moved that they could not speak at all and remained silent for a while.)

    So for quite some time, the people of the West ate their oranges at each meal in the same way that oranges had been eaten by the people of the East for generations. Then one day, a small group of people approached the farmer and mentioned to him that oranges were actually rather tart compared to other fruits such as apples, bananas, and so on. “Wouldn’t it be great”, they said, “if we could put some sugar on the oranges to make

    them sweeter and more tasty for us to eat?”

    “Very good”, said the Farmer, wondering what it was about the taste buds of the people of the West that made it hard for them to enjoy the natural sweetness of his oranges.

    The next morning, at breakfast, everyone was given half an orange with sugar on top, a plate, a spoon, and instructions to eat the orange in the same way that you would eat a grapefruit. Most of the people liked eating the oranges with added sugar, a spoon, and a plate. At this, the small group of people became extremely pleased with themselves, as their idea had not only improved upon the taste of oranges, but it also required half as many oranges, taught people better table manners, solved the problem of having to peel the oranges ahead time, and completely eliminated the possibility of anyone ever getting any part of an orange underneath their fingernails.

    And from that day forward, the Farmer’s oranges have always been served with sugar, a plate, and a spoon. Of course, the Farmer and his close friends still preferred to eat oranges in the customary way and arrangements were made so that some people could continue to eat oranges like that. Others took it upon themselves to scrape off the sugar before eating their oranges. Still others, having scraped off the sugar, dispensed with the plate and spoon and made a point to peel their half of an orange and eat it in the

    4

    Copyright ? 2003 by Matthew Weiss

    The Farmers and Their Oranges

    customary way, though they were annoyed that they now only got half an orange rather than a whole one.

    Time passed, people continued to reap the benefits of eating oranges, and the Farm grew and grew. Occasionally, small groups of people would approach the Farmer with ways to improve upon certain aspects of his oranges. He would often respond by saying “Very

    good” which was generally taken to mean that they could go ahead with their plans, however near or far from the mark they might be. He did this because he knew that the people of the West, having conquered the world, were a bit full of themselves and that the best way for them to learn was through experience.

    Then one day the Farmer died. This made the people very sad because they had grown to love him very much, the strange things that he did, and the magnificent oranges that he provided for them. Not knowing what they would do, everyone fell into despair.

    Now the Farmer knew that the day would come when he would have to leave this world, so before he left, he took his beautiful daughter aside and her brother, who had just finished being a teenager, and told them a few things. Then he held a huge ceremony and invited all the people to attend. At the ceremony, he told everyone that after he was gone, his beautiful daughter and her brother would look over the Farm as he had done and those before him.

    Now of all the beautiful daughters of all the farmers of all the world throughout all of time, it may very well be that this farmer’s daughter may well have been the most beautiful. She was also very intelligent, well-educated, and had wisdom well beyond her years. In fact, the Farmer, who spoke the language of the people of the East, instructed her to learn the language of the people of the West. And for many years he would speak to her in the language of the people of the East and she would speak to the people of the West in the language of the people of the West.

    The daughter and her brother continued to remember their father and their grandfather and began to take care of the Farm and the oranges using all that they had learned throughout their lives. And so it came to pass that the daughter became known as the Farmer’s Daughter, the son became known as the Farmer’s Son, the Farmer continued to be remembered as the Father, the eccentric old man continued to be remembered as the Grandfather, and they all continued to be recognized by the people as Orange Farmers. And the people continued to exclaim that the Farmers’ oranges were the best oranges in the whole wide world.

Now it happened to be that even though the Farmer’s Son had lived with the Father all

    his life and had learned all there was to learn about farming oranges, he still had not completely given up being a teenager. And he secretly continued to do the teenager kinds of things that were not at all conducive to orange farming. For a while, the Farmer’s

    Daughter was able to tolerate this behavior, until finally one day she had had enough. On

    5

    Copyright ? 2003 by Matthew Weiss

    The Farmers and Their Oranges

    that day, she went to her brother and told him that he should leave the Farm and never

    return.

The next day, the Farmer’s Son, his name having been changed to the Farmer’s

    Daughter’s brother, left the Farm along with a number of his friends, never to return.

    Now this upset everyone, especially because most of the people had grown to love both

    the Farmer’s Daughter and her brother equally. For some time, people talked and talked

    and continued to be so upset that their feelings were reaching the orange trees and

    making them upset also. Finally, the people began to notice that the leaves on the trees

    were beginning to wither. This frightened the people so much that they decided to never

    talk about the Farmer’s Daughter’s brother ever again.

Now the Farmer’s Daughter was so beautiful, intelligent, educated, wise, and dedicated to

    orange farming that all kinds of people would meet her and quickly fall in love with her.

    Naturally, these people would want to be with her, and she gave them as much attention

    as she could, showing them how much she loved them, but also insisting that they be sure

    to eat some oranges. They also liked her good manners and how well she spoke the

    language of the West.

Time passed, the orange trees continued to yield lots of excellent oranges, and the Farm

    grew and grew. Now just as before, small groups of people would occasionally approach

    the Farmer’s Daughter with ideas on how to improve upon various aspects of her oranges.

    Often, out of love for the people, she would approve of or even embrace these new ideas.

    And so there came to appear not only different ways to eat oranges, but also many

    different things which were derived from oranges such as orange juice, orange cake,

    orange candy, orange toothpaste, orange incense, and so on.

The Farmer’s Daughter herself was not particularly enamored with all these derivations

    of oranges and actually preferred to sit quietly in her own room eating a real orange and

    remembering her father and grandfather. But she knew that having conquered the world

    many times over, the people of the West were quite full of themselves and the only way

    that they would learn was through experience. Also, these things were part of the lives of

    the people of the West and if they would not eat oranges, at least they could benefit from

    some of the good qualities of the oranges that made it into these things.

Time passed. Days turned into nights. Nights turned back into days. Sometimes the

    stars would appear and other times they would remain obscured by the clouds.

    Sometimes the people would long for the light of the sun to pierce the clouds. At other

    times they would pray for the coolness of the rain to relieve them from the heat. All the

    while the orange trees yielded their fruits and everyone ate oranges in one form or

    another.

     And the whole wide world seem to be filled with oranges, orange juice, orange cake,

    orange muffins, orange pop, orange-flavored candy, orange-flavored gum, orange

    6

    Copyright ? 2003 by Matthew Weiss

    The Farmers and Their Oranges

    perfume, orange t-shirts, orange nail polish, orange-colored sunglasses, orange-oil all-purpose cleaner, and even orange-smelling scratch and sniff lottery tickets!

    Now no one ever thought of eating an orange-smelling scratch and sniff lottery ticket, and the fragrance emitted having scratched one of them was far inferior to the orange perfume or orange incense that was available. In fact, people complained that when they scratched them, some of the printed material would rub off and get stuck underneath their fingernails. But those people lucky enough to buy a winning ticket received a crate of genuine certified organically grown oranges shipped directly to their home picked from the trees of the original Farm in the East.

    * * *

    One day one of the children had a dream in which an angel had come to her and told her not to eat the next orange that was given to her. Instead, the angel told her to hide it underneath her dress and take it home, telling no one about it. When darkness fell, she was then instructed to get out of bed and bury the orange in her back yard, making sure that no one could see her. Then she was to go about her life like a normal little girl and keep absolutely secret all that the angel had told her to do.

    The next summer, an orange tree appeared in the little girl’s back yard and soon after that it yielded a handful of oranges of the highest quality. The little girl was exceedingly pleased with her new orange tree and invited all the other children to come visit her and eat some of the oranges. Instantly, all the children wanted to plant things in their back yards.

    Word of the little girl’s story and the orange tree in her back yard spread amongst the parents of the children, and soon some of the parents told the Farmer’s Daughter what

    had happened. “Very good”, the Farmer’s Daughter replied thinking how wonderful children were and how lucky we were to have them. (When she said this there were tears in her eyes and she spoke softly with her voice trembling a little).

    And so it was that each of the children planted a different thing in their own back yard. Some children planted oranges from the East, some planted oranges from the West, some planted oranges from the little girls tree, and so on. Some children planted canned oranges, some planted half an orange, sugar, a plate, and a spoon, some planted orange juice and orange pop and so on. Some children planted orange cake, some planted orange candy, some planted orange gum, and so on. Some children planted bottles of orange perfume, some planted orange t-shirts, and some even planted the orange-smelling scratch and sniff lottery tickets. All of the children were so excited to have in their own back yard a tree full of their favorite orange things by the next summer.

    The next summer, orange trees appeared in the back yards of the children who had planted oranges from the East, oranges from the West, oranges from the little girl’s tree,

    7

    Copyright ? 2003 by Matthew Weiss

    The Farmers and Their Oranges and also half and orange, some sugar, a plate, and a spoon. This made some of the

    children very happy and some of the other children very sad. So all of the children

    decided to go to the Farmer’s Daughter and ask her why some children got to have trees

    and other children didn’t get have any trees.

The Farmer’s Daughter, having listened to the childrens’ question, asked them all to

    stand in a line and come forward one by one so she could tell each one of them the

    answer. When each child came forward, the Farmer’s Daughter whispered into each

    child’s ear, “Because real oranges really are the best”. After that, each of the children

    understood a whole lot more about orange farming and eating oranges.

Now among the parents and all the other people were some of the cleverest from the

    original small group of people who invented the idea of eating oranges as if they were

    grapefruits. They too were exceedingly pleased and mentioned how wonderful it was that

    the backyards with half an orange, some sugar, a plate, and a spoon had also produced

    orange trees with high-quality oranges. Everyone agreed how wonderful this was. Then

    one of the children asked the Farmer’s Daughter why it was that those trees made whole

    oranges, but no sugar, no plates, and no spoons? (At this, the people from the small

    clever group were obliged not to speak and to remain silent for a while).

Observing the state of the people from the small clever group, everyone decided to

    remain in silence for quite some time. Finally, one of the other children asked the

    Farmer’s Daughter “But what will happen to all the other things that are buried in the

    backyards of all the other children?” The Farmer’s Daughter replied that they would

    eventually merge into the Earth and disappear.

    * * *

Time passes. Days turn into nights and nights turn back into days. Sometimes the stars

    appear and other times they remain obscured by the clouds. Sometimes people long for

    the light of the sun to pierce the clouds. At other times they pray for the coolness of the

    rain to relieve them from the heat. All the while the orange trees yield their fruits and

    everyone eats oranges in one form or another. But now there are those who really believe

    that real oranges really are the best.

    Sadgurunath Maharaj Ki Jay!

    8

    Copyright ? 2003 by Matthew Weiss

The Farmers and Their Oranges

9

Copyright ? 2003 by Matthew Weiss

The Farmers and Their Oranges

10

Copyright ? 2003 by Matthew Weiss

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email
cust-service@docsford.com