Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The King

        Long ago, there was an orchard of 40 acres. Each acre was more brilliant than the next, and the apples redder than any other in the world. Each of one these magnificent acres were owned by the King. The King was not the nasty, greedy sort of King that one might read about in a fairy tale. In fact, the King was rather generous. As busy as the King became, he never forgot to take a stroll in the orchard. In fact, he became so attached to these strolls that he made the habit of doing so rather fast. 

        Every afternoon, without delay, at a quarter to one, the King would take his walk. He began at the front of his property, that which faced his castle. He would walk for some time, through the rows of tall apple trees. He would walk up to the top of a mound, and there, everyday, he observed his land. It was a beautiful place, the highest point on his land. He would reminisce the day so far, and he would go deep into his thoughts. He would go so deep into these thoughts, in fact, that most often one of his attendants would have to go looking for him. The attendant would most likely say something of the kind, “Sir, it is Four O’Clock and the Queen is here to talk to you. Do not be late.” And the King would nod, but never truly acknowledge that he must leave, so deep in thought was he.


          One day, the King had just finished a bountiful lunch with a Queen from the another country. The King said, “My lady, it has been my habit to go for a walk in the orchard after my meals. Would you care to join me?” And, of course, the Queen said yes; she was one for exercise and habits, you see. When they were several minutes into their walk, the Queen stopped and looked very perplexed.

          “What is it?” The King asked with worry.

          The Queen shook her head. “I cannot seem to understand my predicament. Do I seem to be a good sort of Queen?”

          “Yes.” The King replied, still quite confused about the whole situation. The two of them began to walk again.

          “My people do not seem to trust me.” The Queen said with sorrow.

          The King asked why, and the Queen went on to tell how she had come to the conclusion. But I do not think that bothering you with her troubles will lend anything to the story, and so I have left that matter to your imagination. As they walked on, the sun was very hot. And so, the Queen decided to go back to the castle while the King continued on. When the King came to the mound that was used so often used for his thinking, he was very grateful. He had much thinking to do. “I am a good King.” He said out loud to himself. “But perhaps the situation is like that of the Queen’s. Do my people trust me?” After several minutes, the King was struck with an idea as blazing as the sun. The King hurried back to the castle, only to be met halfway by one his attendants.

          “Your Majesty.” The Attendant said with a low bow.

          “I would like to know if my people trust me. Quickly, gather all of the orchard farmers and have them assemble in front of the church. I will be waiting there for them.”

          “As you wish.” The attendant said.


          Several hours later, as the sun began to dip into the sky, the King stood on the steps in front of the church. Both young and old, rich and poor farmers gathered there. In total, there were 20 people.

          “My people.” The King proclaimed. “I have asked you here,” The King looked from the left to the right, at all of the faces, “because of trust. Do you trust me?”

          “Aye!” The crowd shouted.

          “Is your trust true?” The King said.

          “Aye!” The crowd shouted.

          “All of you own orchards. That which you have farmed, and raised, and harvested. Today, I would like to ask you something out of trust. There is a field, that which I see from the mound. That field is bare, and I would like to make it into an orchard. To do so, I require apple seeds. Once those apple seeds are trees, I will give you a portion of the crop, if you are willing to sacrifice some of your apples now.”

          The people scowled and whispered among each other. Some glared at the King. “You will not take our apples from us!” One of them shouted.

          “If you do not agree with what I have said, please leave now. I am a good king and I will let you make your own decisions. I will never force you to do anything.” And so, ten of the twenty people left. The King watched as they walked away, disappointed in their trust. “Further,” The King said to the remaining people, “You must only give a tenth of your crop.” The King was hoping that the crowd would be pleased with that number. Because, my dear reader, a tenth is truly a trivial portion of a bountiful crop.

          But, alas! Six more people left from the crowd, mocking and laughing at the King. “To think, giving up a tenth of our apples!”

          The King looked at the four people remaining. It was a funny assortment of people, but they were the last of the trusting farmers. The King looked at the first man and said, “How many apples have you harvested this year?”

          The man, finely groomed and clothed, boastfully puffed out his chest and said, “Ten thousand apples.”

          The King looked at him and said, “Give me one thousand apples, and you will be given a bountiful crop in return.”

          The first man laughed and said, “You are a liar! You only want the apples to feed yourself. I doubt that you will ever plant those seeds in the ground!” With that, the first man put his hands on his hips. If someone was to look at that scene at that moment, they would undoubtedly think that the first man was merely a child in a rich man’s body. And as the first man walked away, it was agreeable that he was throwing nothing less than a tantrum.

          The King looked at the second man and said, “How many apples have you harvested this year?”

          The second man, swelling also with pride said, “One thousand apples.”

          The King looked at him and said, “Give me a hundred apples, and you will be given a bountiful crop in return.”

          But also, the second man refused. “I don't need to sacrifice anything to you. The first man had ten times the apples that I do, and he did not give, so why should I?” Sticking his nose in the air, the second man left.

          The King looked at the third man and said, “How many apples have you harvested this year?”

          The third man looked at the King and said with humility, “One hundred apples.”

          The King looked at him and said, “Give me ten apples, and you will be given a bountiful crop in return.”

          The third man scoffed at the King. “You asked the man before me to give as many apples as my entire harvest. Both of the other men likely sell their apples, but not me! I use my apples feed my family, and I will not give my apples to you on the chance that I may get a ‘bountiful crop’ someday!” The third man turned sharply on his heel and walked briskly home.

          The King looked at the fourth man and said, “How many apples have you harvested this year?”

          The fourth man said, “I share a tree with many of my neighbors, because we are all too poor to own land on our own. And like the other man, I use the crop to feed my family. I harvest 10 apples.”

          The King looked at him and said, “Give me one apple, and you will be given a bountiful crop in return.”

          The fourth man said, “I will give you the one apple that you ask for.”

          The King spoke, “You are only the farmer who has trusted me. I will give you the whole field, so that you may see the riches of my kingdom. You have trusted me.”

          For years to come, the man gave the King his apples. My dear reader, I will not tell you if the man received a bountiful crop. 

          Before you go about telling others how unfair I was not to tell you, I like would you to know why I did so. I want you to conclude for yourself if the man was blessed. And I suppose, your conclusion would be based upon one thing. And that thing being if you yourself trusted the King.


  1. Wonderful story, Katie! It is like one of Jesus' parables and I really enjoyed it. - Sammy