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 everywhere.
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
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
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
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?"