The Tree Fairies
The Dry Field
He went and brought an old axe
Once upon a time there was a lived a farmer and his wife who were very poor. They worked hard in the field every day, but were still not able to make both ends meet. There was a large tree in the middle of their field. The farmer and his wife used to rest for a while under the shade of the tree and have their lunch.
One year there were no rains. The land became dry and arid. The farmer was desperate. He did not know how to raise some money al least to eat something. People were starving everywhere. The farmer’s wife then had a bright idea.
Why don’t you cut down this old tree? We can sell the wood in the market.’ she said to him one day as they were sitting under it.
The farmer looked at the tree which had provided him shelter for so many years. He did not feed like cutting it, but there seemed to be on another option. He went and brought an old axe.
Farmer with Axe
The farmer talking with Tree Fairies
Now, two fairies had made the hollow of the tree as their home. When they heard the farmer and his wife discussing. They became worried. If the tree was cut, their home would be gone. Deciding that they had to do something, they called out `O farmer, please spare us. Do not cut down this tree under whose shade you have rested. We will help you.’ the farmer was astonished. How cold the tree speaks like a human being?
Are you really speaking to me?’ he asked. Who are you?’
`O good farmer. Do not worry. We are the e fairies who have made our home in this tree. If you cut down the tree, you will destroy our home. So please spare us. From now on we will help you solve your troubles’, the tree fairies answered.
The farmer looked around everywhere, but could not see any fairies.
`O tree fairies, I cannot see you. How can I know that you are really there?’ asked the farmer.
`We cannot be seen by anymore. But you will know we exit when you see the work done for you. All these years we have watched you both struggling. Now we will make life easier for you. From tomorrow onwards you need not work anymore in the fields. We will take care of it,’ replied the tree fairies.
Satisfied at last the farmer and his wife
Satisfied at last the farmer and his wife returned home discussing all that had happened. The next morning the farmer and his wife reached the field and stood staring in amazement. Overnight, somebody had tilled the earth nicely and had already planted seedlings too. The land did not look dry any longer. It had been watered thoroughly. The Tree fairies had kept their word.
From that day onwards the fortunes of the farmer and his wife changed. now at home or in the field the tree fairies worked diligently and untiringly. The farmer and his wife did not have anything to do. The tree fairies would have completed the job even before they could voice it cooking, cleaning, washing and other household work were taken over by one of the tree fairies. The other looked after the land.
But sad to say the farmer and his wife became more and more lazy. They began to rely more on the tree fairies. They also stopped doing any work. They would not even go to the field anymore. Instead of being thankful to the fairies for their help, the farmer took it for granted. He was not satisfied and was always expecting more. Both the farmer and his wife became very selfish as the days passed by.
The tree fairies were hurt by their attitude
Not once had they ever thanked the fairies. Moreover, even doing simple things like getting themselves a glass of water, the farmer and his wife expected the fairies to do so. One day the tree fairies just left their home and went away to another place.
The farmer and his wife called out to the tree fairies to provide them with a meal. There was no meal. There were no answers and food also did not appear. They went from one place to another calling them, but still there was no answer. at last reached the field and were shocked to see it once again barren. The lush in crops seemed like a dream.
Realization dawned on the farmer and his wife. How complacent and lazy, they had become. Their ingratitude had driven the tree fairies away. Once again, they began to lead a hard life.