A Tale of the Sower 

 

A Tale of the SowerOnce upon a time there was a kingdom reigned by a wise and just king. In a far-off village in this kingdom lived a poor man who could barely scrape a living to feed his wife and son; but he had never complained or repined and, since he feared no work, he was respected for his honesty even by the penny-pinching.

At first, he did all the work by himself, but when his son was old enough to be able to help him - he began taking him along.

As the first ray of sunshine appeared in the morning, he would always wake him up with the same words:

- Come, my son, with God's help! What we sow in the morning, we will reap in the evening.

And the boy would get up quickly, following his beloved father, although he did not understand the wisdom with which he was waking up because of his youth. The boy was not able to grasp this since the most work they did rarely included fields and sowing.  On the whole, they worked at the stables, cut and chopped wood, sawed up, carried out different repairs - honestly, they did all the things avoided by the vast majority. However, despite the reality, the boy would always answer anyone who would ask him where he was going or what he did - that he had been sowing since the early morning, thus respecting parental upbringing. Yet, his peers recognized a reason for a joke in his answer, and that is why they called him Sower.

So, the little Sower grew up, not from day to day but from moment to moment, not only physically, but he also began to outshine many in wisdom, even the ones who were older than him. He was extraordinarily disciplined and agile, swift when he listened, patient when he spoke and very hard-working. Above everything else, he had a good line in undertaking: whatever he tackled, it flourished under his fingers – that’s how big a blessing in work he was given by God.

Once he had grown into a young man, he took it upon himself to look after his frail parents, and cared for them without ever offending or displeasing them in any way - until they went to their last resting place. Because of that he was respected even more, both as a man and as a craftsman. And what once used to be mocking, now became a subject of respect and an example for children to look up to. The elderly would have regarded him as a son, if only he had not been so poor.

He was so impoverished that while his parents were alive and after their death as well, he had nothing to provide for his future wife, at least not in the way others expected it to be done; for everything he had inherited was an old, crumbling shed, which was barely standing. Since they had never had enough money to do it up, they did their best to do minor repairs everything they could manage with, patching it as much as possible.

Being left on his own, the Sower could afford repairs even less than ever. Yet, he was so kind-hearted that he was concerned about others more than about himself. However, regardless of one’s wishes, this isn’t something a person can always hold on to, especially at times like this. And so it somehow happened that just after his parents had died a terrible drought came to pass, which caused difficulties not only to him, but to others as well. They started lacking in everything, even work. Many workers, labourers and servants were becoming unneeded and a burden, therefore they were sent away to their homes. Because of that, every bit of bread was a real blessing.

True, life was becoming more difficult day after day, but the Sower did not repine at this time of misfortune. Moreover, he would share even a slice of bread he had earned with hard work with the hungry, especially with neighbours’ children. But not only with them! He would often visit the nearby woods, sharing the last slice with starving offspring of different animals. He was especially fond of a small bear cub, whose mother ended up as a trophy on the floor of a rich man. Their friendship was touching and conditioned by nothing, so they were looking forward to each other every time they were to meet.

In the meantime, while the drought fell upon this part of the kingdom, in the second part, where the royal palace was situated, something unusual happened. Namely, the wise and righteous king began to ponder over organizing his only daughter’s wedding. She was just about to come of age for marriage, so it was crucial to look into the possibilities in due course.

Having thought carefully about who would be worthy of her, he concluded:

- If I commended my daughter to marry any of the princes from the neighbouring kingdoms, it would seem more as selling my own child, and on top of that, who knows what we – she, I and our people - would get by doing so. A foreigner does not have to love what is not his. Therefore, it might be better if she married a fair and honest man, loyal to his country, the one who has been justified as a decent man by common people, than the one having nothing but a title which could easily be followed by some kind of trouble. God, help me!

So, after visiting his daughter, whose wisdom increasingly resembled her father’s, and being given herA Tale of the Sower assent, the King announced to the whole kingdom that he will soon set out on a journey to find a man worthy to be a king's son-in-law.

Of course, the King’s decision ran up against a lack of understanding among many ministers, who had been in contact with the neighbouring princes for a very long time; and those princes cherished the hope that they might inherit the throne. However, the offers were quickly forgotten and faded into the background as the ministers devised something better for themselves: now each of them who had a son recognized a possibility of deserving remarkable honour – to rule the kingdom through their child. Among them, the most cunning one stood out – a particularly and underhandedly devious one: the King’s first minister. He could imagine his son as a future king, although he was a young man of ostentatious and lavish lifestyle who was spending a lot and who was very pliable and venal; thus, as soon as the next day, he began to draw people's attention to him. In honour to this, he even organized a great outing to his substantial but remote estate, which he visited only when it was necessary to collect the tax. He invited the distinguished and close associates from the palace to join his family: his wife and son and his, equally spoiled but beautiful, daughter. Of course, the King wasn’t in a position to attend this celebration because he was in the middle of preparations for the intended journey, which was exactly what this minister, in his sly manner, wanted to thwart with this picnic...

 

 

 

Previous Fairy Tale:

 

Lake princess