A Folk Tale from India
Once there lived a farmer in a village. He had a big garden which was full of trees, plants and beautiful flowers. There was also a huge, old apple tree in the garden. The tree was very old and had stopped bearing fruit long ago. The tree, however, was of great use as it served as a home to all the sparrows, squirrels and grasshoppers in the neighborhood.
The farmer gradually felt that that the tree was useless, and one day, he decided to cut the tree down. He also wanted to get some new furniture made. So he thought to himself that it would be a great idea to use the wood of the tree to make the furniture as the wood was very strong and of good quality.
So the farmer took a big axe and started hitting the tree with it.
The moment he struck the tree for the first time, all the squirrels, sparrows and grasshoppers immediately came out of the tree. They all gathered around the man and started pleading, “Please don’t cut this tree. This is our home.”
The farmer did not listen to them and continued to hit the tree with his axe. The creatures were desperate to protect the tree and told him, “We will sing for you, when you are toiling away in the afternoons. You will be entertained and won’t feel tired.” But all their requests were in vain, the farmer did not pay any attention to them.
When the farmer was busy chopping the tree, he suddenly noticed something shining in the hollow of the tree. He went a little closer and realized that it was a beehive full of honey. He took a little and put it in his mouth, and the taste of the freshly made honey made him extremely happy. He smiled and said, “Umm, this tastes amazing.”
The farmer finally realized that the tree was after all not that useless. It was home to the bees which made such lovely and sweet honey. He thought that if he took away this honey, the bees would make it once again. And the bees would never leave such a comfortable residence.
He threw away the axe and said to the other creatures, “I would never cut this tree. You all can have fun and live in peace now.”
The grasshoppers, sparrows and squirrels were finally relieved and said, “Thank God that the farmer found the beehive in the tree; else we would have lost our home by now.” And they continued living happily in the old apple tree.