Karl Wiener

The apple tree

 
            It is common knowledge, that once a wish is fulfilled, it immediately gives rise to new desires. According to legend, even Adam and Eve were expelled from paradise as a result of their foolhardy wishes. This is what nearly happened to our friend Joshua and I’d like to tell you his story.
            It was a wonderful summer’s day. A gentle breeze nudged the big white clouds across the blue sky. They looked just like giant blobs of whipped cream.  Green meadows and fields of golden corn stretched as far as the eye could see. A small stream meandered through the meadows and skirted a hill upon which stood a tall apple tree. Deep clefts were to be seen on its bark and its widespread branches gave shelter from the warm sun. For sure this tree had been standing there for more than a hundred years. It was there in the shade under the apple tree, that Joshua lay stretched on his back, his hands folded behind his head. He was tired after having played down by the stream and from the heat. His sleepy eyes peered up at the leaves. The few sunbeams that managed to penetrate, tickled his nose. The apples on the tree were small, green and far from ripe but they promised a bumper crop. Joshua tried in vain to count them. There were many more apples than he had fingers. The warm sun had made his mouth dry and Joshua couldn’t resist the thought that the juice of an apple would quench his thirst. So, he stretched up on the tip of his toes to shake the lower branches until an apple fell at his feet. He seized it and took a huge bite. But, oh dear, the apple was sour and worm eaten.
          The old apple tree had watched the boy. A soft breeze caused its leaves to rustle and Joshua heard a whisper: The fruits that ripen too soon are often rotten and full of worms. You must remember that for all things in life there is an appropriate time. - Joshua was astonished that the apple tree was able to speak. He remained very quiet, since he didn’t want to miss a word as the tree continued to speak to him: Sometimes your wishes seem to be of great importance before they are fulfilled, but afterwards they often fail to come up to expectations. You may find nothing but disappointment and this will give rise to further greed as you’ll discover, wishes that are fulfilled during your life are finite, therefore you should always wait until the right time comes. The apple tree grew silent and the rustling of its leaves soon lulled Joshua towards sleep.
              The bright sun brought a dim red shine to Joshua’s half closed eyes and he saw a fairy godmother stepping out of the shine. She whispered: Joshua, I grant you three wishes. Whatever you ask me for will come true. But you should think carefully, since temptation is hard to resist and it could be that you’ll overlook the most important things. And remember, there are only three wishes and no more. This having said, the fairy godmother disappeared. Joshua thought long. Always he had been angry when his elder brother treated him like a baby. So, he wished to become a schoolboy. As promised, this wish was immediately fulfilled. Outdoors the weather was fine, but Joshua was feeling hot and uncomfortable sitting in his classroom. He was disillusioned and dreamt of the green meadows, the shade of the apple tree and playing by the stream. There were still two wishes left. He began to think that maybe the life of a teacher would suit him better. His teacher was always friendly and seemed to be familiar with all the things that a man should know. So, he longed for the end of his schooldays wanting to teach his classmates rather than learning his lessons. Hardly had this wish crossed his mind when it became true. Now he found himself standing before the class of children, having to teach them to read and write and many other things. But, oh dear, Joshua suddenly realised he just didn’t have the knowledge how to teach. So, his pupils, who were thirsty for knowledge, made him sweat with their questions and all he wanted were to be far away from them. It was then that his grandfather came to mind. His grandfather was always cheerful, knew how to tell very interesting stories and seemed to enjoy his life. So, he decided he would like to be a man like his grandfather. And again, hardly had the wish crossed his mind, when it was granted. He found himself sitting on a bench in front of the house, winking up at the sun. The sun warmed his old limbs and he felt well. But when he tried to get to his feet, he had to lean on his stick, since walking was difficult for him. He searched his mind for a good story but nothing came to him. His grandfather’s stories had developed over the years, garnered from his experiences throughout his life. It was after that, that Joshua remembered the words of the apple tree; everything in life has its right moment. What a disaster: There seemed no way back to the happy days of his childhood, since he had used up all of his three wishes. However, wonders will never cease. His fairy godmother touched him with her magic wand and he came out of his dream. From that moment, Joshua made a decision. He would keep any wishes to himself until the time would be right and their fulfilment would bring him uninhibited joy.

 

All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Karl Wiener.
Published on e-Stories.org on 14.10.2007.

 

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