Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Chinese Prodigal Son

There was a rich man who owned much fertile farmland.  He had one son.  The son loved the City.  The son spent his time gambling, drinking, and enjoying the life of the young, idle rich.

One day the rich man died.  The young man appointed several caretakers for the farm and continued his life as before.

Revenues from the property declined.  The young man was forced to economize.  He did not like that.

So the young man made a trip to a distant mountain known to harbor a very wise man.  The wise man told the young man that the problem was the deficiency of the very best fertilizer.  The wise man gave the young man a wooden box with a very small hole in the bottom.  "This box is full of the very best fertilizer.  It must be shaken over the entire property in the light of the rising sun.  But be aware that although the fertilizer is potent, it must be applied frequently.  This fertilizer is of greater value than gold, so never let it out of your possession.  Finally, this box must never be opened as the power of this fertilizer can kill instantly."

The young man was anxious to increase his income so he could return to the City.  He traveled back to the farm, dismissed the caretakers and started the fertilization program the very next morning.  History does not tell us what he saw as he walked about the fields and shook the box.  Perhaps he noticed that the tenants and caretakers were not arriving at the fields until mid-morning.  Perhaps he noticed that the drainage ditches had fallen into disrepair and the flooded fields were not ready for the planting.  Perhaps he saw plantings that were choked with weeds.  Regardless, the young man was observant and realized that no fertilizer, no matter how potent, would work if the fields were not planted.

Many years passed and the young man prospered greatly.  The man never returned to the City, there was always too much to do.  Then, one day, he lay on his deathbed.  He called to his most able assistant and told him to bring the box and an ax.  Then he dismissed the assistant.

They found the man the next morning.  He was dead.  The box had been smashed open.  Inside the box were a few grains of sand and a script that read, "The best fertilizer is the sound of the master's footsteps"

No comments:

Post a Comment