The Gold in the Orchard
by Sara Cone Bryant
There was once a farmer who had a fine olive orchard. He was very
industrious, and the farm always prospered under his care. But he knew
that his three sons despised the farm work, and were eager to make
wealth fast, through adventure.
When the farmer was old, and felt that his time had come to die, he
called the three sons to him and said, "My sons, there is a pot of gold
hidden in the olive orchard. Dig for it, if you wish it."
The sons tried to get him to tell them in what part of the orchard the
gold was hidden; but he would tell them nothing more.
After the farmer was dead, the sons went to work to find the pot of
gold; since they did not know where the hiding-place was, they agreed
to begin in a line, at one end of the orchard, and to dig until one of
them should find the money.
They dug until they had turned up the soil from one end of the orchard
to the other, round the tree-roots and between them. But no pot of
gold was to be found. It seemed as if some one must have stolen it, or
as if the farmer had been wandering in his wits. The three sons were
bitterly disappointed to have all their work for nothing.
The next olive season, the olive trees in the orchard bore more fruit
than they had ever given; the fine cultivating they had had from the
digging brought so much fruit, and of so fine a quality, that when it
was sold it gave the sons a whole pot of gold!
And when they saw how much money had come from the orchard, they
suddenly understood what the wise father had meant when he said, "There
is gold hidden in the orchard; dig for it."