6.27.2011

Tending The Money Tree - writercize #74

I'm a big lover of fables because they are short, sweet and impart a nice lesson that can be referred back to when reminding young children of what they should be doing.  Sometimes, I believe adults could use a little return to the world of fables themselves.  Check out the Aesop's Fables website for more than 600 fables by the infamous author, thoughtfully indexed both alphabetically and by lesson.

For those unfamiliar with fables, or curious about the difference between a fable and a parable, something I had never even though to ask, check out Wikipedia's definition:  

"A fable is a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature which are anthropomorphized (given human qualities), and that illustrates a moral lesson (a "moral"), which may at the end be expressed explicitly in a pithy maxim.

A fable differs from a parable in that the latter excludes animals, plants, inanimate objects, and forces of nature as actors that assume speech and other powers of humankind."

I'm currently trying to think of a way to alter "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" into a more feminine story to make my girls understand the concept of not whining or crying unless it's totally worth it.  I'll let you know if I find success.  In the meantime, I have a photo prompt for you thanks to the Group Blogging Experience that I'll work off of to find another moral to impart.

writercize:  Using the photo of the elusive money tree below, pick a moral and write a fable to match!

Click "read more" for writercizer sample response about Joshua's money tree.
writercizer response:

Every night before bed, Joshua wished for more, bigger and better.  More clothes, a bigger house, a better car.  Every morning, when Joshua woke up, he looked around his room, hopeful that he had been transported to a new room in his slumber, one that answered his more, bigger and better wishes.  Every morning, he was disappointed.

One morning, Joshua awoke to a distinct paper smell.  He followed his nose to the backyard, where he saw a tree that had sprouted from the ground overnight.  An odd shaped leaf shook in the breeze at the end of one of the branches.  It was almost rectangular, and not the normal leafy green.  Joshua had never seen this type of tree before.  He rubbed his eyes and walked outside, saw that a distinctly Presidential face was sitting on the leaf and smelled the lovely scent of money.  Feeling this was at best the answer to his nightly wishes and at worst a monetary treat blown into his yard with the breeze, Joshua plucked the leaf off the tree and saw that it was indeed a dollar bill.  He put it in his pocket, hoped with all his might for the best scenario, the wish-granting type, and ran for the hose to water the plant. 

Day after day, Joshua woke up and found dollar bills on the tree.  Every morning, he snatched them all, stuffed them into his pocket and fed the tree more water.  Every afternoon, he left the house and spent the morning's harvest.  Every night, he wished for more.

For more than a year, Joshua's tree bloomed with dollar bills, until one morning, after the tree saw that Joshua had used the money for more, but hardly bigger and better, began to feel a little bitter.  The tree wanted to help Joshua with the bigger house and the better car, but he was wasting the money on junk such as candy and sweets and other useless things.  Not a penny had been saved, and Joshua was beginning to grow so accustomed to the tree's generosity that he was becoming lax with the watering.  He was also stripping the tree of every one of it's monetary leaves every morning, so the bills didn't have a chance to grow into bigger amounts as the tree intended.

To teach the man a lesson, one morning, Joshua woke up to see shiny bronze circles hanging on the tree.  The dollar bills had turned to pennies.  Deeming them useless, Joshua looked at the tree in anger and refused to water it.  Slowly, the branches weakened and dropped to the ground.  Birds carried the branches to make nests all around the neighborhood and Joshua's tree withered to nothing. 

Little did Joshua know, the pennies were the most valuable gift of all, for they were seeds for more money trees, and by deeming them worthless he was doing nothing less than throwing away his more, bigger and better dreams.

The next year as money trees began to pop up throughout the neighborhood, those who quietly tended to their trees and watered them and allowed them to grow, waiting to pick the bills until they were nice and big and stashing them away, were eventually rewarded and able to attain their wishes.  But as the majority of neighbors over-picked the tree watched the dollar bills wither away and turn to pennies and allowed the pennies to fall, they squandered their magical trees and wishes away.

The moral of the story is - tend to your pennies and be patient with your money.  With enough patience and devotion, it just may grow to grant your wishes!

17 comments:

  1. When I was a young boy here in New Zealand, we had a Post Office Savings Bank money box in which we put our pennies. When it filled up we took it to school to be emptied and credited into our bank books. On the box was written: "Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves". That was in the days before we changed to decimals.Loved your little story. Have read so many variations of it during my long lifetime. Cheers

    Peter

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  2. Love this little story! Excellent post!
    Sylvie
    http://www.sylviebranch.com

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  3. Loved this story and thank you for the link to Aesop's Fables.
    http://theresawiza.wordpress.com/

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  4. A very good story. I'll remember that one--maybe I'll get a chance to repeat it to my great-grandchildren.

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  5. Great fable and awesome idea for the challenge.

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  6. This is a great post. I'm a fan of short stories as well.

    --Diana Jillian

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  7. Awesome story! Thanks for sharing...

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  8. What a great little story, with a real message! Thanks for sharing.

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  9. funny...we save all our pennies..literally...looking on the ground in parking lots...school...work places,...all for our funding to a church in Europe. EVERY PENNY COUNTS heads up or down...hehe great story..but fable??? nah

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  10. This was fabulous!! I love your story!! Well done! I am going to read it to my kids.

    Kathy
    http://www.thetruckerswife.com/

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  11. My mother always said, "It takes pennies to make dollars." Your story illustrated that beautifully. I love your writercizes. Cheers, Jenn

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  12. Nice! I should probably "The Children's Book of Virtues." I agree, we adults sometimes need to get back to the basics, keeping it simple.

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  13. Peter - thanks so much! My grandma would always say "save your pennies and the dollars will follow" so the idea sprung along those lines I suppose. :)

    Thanks to all who responded - it's nice to hear positive words. :)

    Jenn - thanks so much for the comment on writercizes!

    Brenda - touche'! I suppose I need to make the tree talk to fall into the realm of fables, huh? Aesop really knew what he was doing telling his stories ...

    Kathy and Angela - I love that you will read this story to others! That's fabulous! Biggest compliment. Thank you.

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  14. Great stuff. I loved Aesop's Fables. This post makes me want to go back and read them again.

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