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TO FEED THE WORLD
Waiting For The Reaper
Three reasons showing selfishness denies its hosts what they really need.
Willy Super Wheat is a story that demonstrates that selfishness denies us what we need. Giving up our rights for another's good is not a sacrifice but a blessing
The Oldest Food in the World
Wheat is one of the first cereals known to have been domesticated, and wheat's ability to self-pollinate greatly facilitated the selection of many distinct domesticated varieties. The archaeological record suggests that this first occurred in the regions known as the Fertile Cresceent. Recent findings estimate the first domestication of wheat down to a small region of southeastern Turkey and domesticated Einkorm wheat at Wadi el Jilat in Jordan—has been dated to 7,500-7,300 BCE.
The Power of Willy
Flexing his muscles, as a victor would, Willy Super Wheat looked around at the mixture of grains clustered around Olly Oats lying on the ground at his feet. He glanced down at Olly sprawled in the dust, rage rose in him, ‘Who do you think you are to challenge us superior wheat grains? You’re only an inferior oat grain.’ He hurled the words like stones the hapless Oat grain who dared challenge the wheat Grains.
At the sight of the menacing figure of Willie, the Oat grains scuttled off into an isolated patch of the silo while the wheat grains ran behind Willy who stood alone as a Goliath among the wheat grains.
Glancing down admiringly at his beautiful golden body, pride surged through Willy, he knew how to flex his body and terrify his enemies and friends alike. He truly deserved the name of Super Wheat. His fat body swelled even more at the mere thought of his power, grinning fatuously, he rolled to the pile the other wheat grains had made.
Willy Super Wheat
A Lesser Grain - Selfishness is a short term power enforcer
Olly Oats, pale and thin due to the drought, was even paler now, a derelict with his black eye, nose profusely bleeding, golden skin shredded. He staggered to his feet and tottered feebly off, anger racking his bruised and battered body. He wondered how Willy Super Wheat was so fat and strong in such a dry time. He was sure that Willy was up to something and determined to find out just how the wheat did it.
Just then, Olly heard cries and shout of distress rend the tranquillity of the summer day. Disaster descended upon both the wheat and oat grains in the guise of an enormous iron monstrosity. Fists flailing uselessly, legs thrashing for a footing, the grains tumbled together through space, currants of alarm pulsating through myriads of tiny forms.
Willie and Olly both gasped for air. They were being almost pulverised to a powder as the other grains poured over them in a yellow stream. Everything was topsy-turvy; the two grains struggled to right themselves. Angry cries assailed their ears each time they moved. Thick choking dust swirled eerily around the confined space, shrouding the occupants in ghostly apparel. Tortured lungs screamed in a cacophony of coughing and spluttering.
Dissecting the Anatomy
A Break-down of Willy's Skeleton
Wheat - as ancient as civilization itself
Wheat was a key factor enabling the emergence of city-based societies at the start of civilization because it was one of the first crops that could be easily cultivated on a large scale, and had the additional advantage of yielding a harvest that provides long-term storage of food. Wheat contributed to the emergence of city-states in the Fertile Crescent, including the Babylonian and Assyrian empires.
Wheat - Basic Food
Wheat (Triticum spp.) is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East but now cultivated worldwide. In 2010, world production of wheat was 651 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize (844 million tons) and rice (672 million tons).Wheat was the second most-produced cereal in 2009; world production in that year was 682 million tons, after maize (817 million tons), and with rice as a close third (679 million tons).
Using his neighbors' stomach as a launching pad, Willy heaved himself upwards. He was not going to tolerate being at the bottom of the heap. When an eye appeared before him, he disposed of it with a tidy punch. A nose thrust itself into his face and with a sickening scrunch; he disposed of it. At last he was upright and at the top of the pile.
As the dust cleared, the grains tried to settle themselves comfortably, bitter squabbling broke out as realization dawned over their consciousness. They were prisoners in a bin on a truck with no escape. They were going to their deaths. The unthinkable had happened they were lumped together into a bin and then into a seeding machine that would sow them into the ground.
‘Come on, Willie, use your strength and get us out of here,’ the grains began to look to Willie for help.
‘Yes, help us Super Wheat, we’re scared. You’ve always boasted how strong and brave you are, show us what you’re made of,’ fear ridden little voices squeaked in the dark.
‘We’ll never see the sun again. What will happen to us,’ some despaired.
‘If only we could feel the wind and get some air,’ others yearned for the caresses of a cool loving wind.
A loud strident voice arrogantly rose above the clamor of dissenting voices, ‘I am Willy Super wheat, I will find a way to escape and set you all free.’
Suiting action to words, he placed a pudgy foot on a nearby head and strained upward regardless of the cries of pain issuing forth from the victim. Willy reached a place of comfort, gloating over the sweltering and bewildered grains below him. He waited for release but it never came. He even forgot his boastful promise to find freedom for himself and all the grains. The grains resettled into their little shells to dream of freedom.
The Death Throes: Willy and his mates being drilled into the ground to await the rain
Preparing the Ground
Preparing the Ground
The floor of the valley spread out, a patchwork quilt of neat squares of multi greens and browns. Hideous iron monsters, antlike, scurried feverishly back and forth across the paddocks, frantic to deliver their loads of seeds into the copious arms of fertile soils.
Willie Super Wheat lay bobbing along in a molten stream of golden grains in the stomach of the iron monster. Shame enveloped him over the indignity of such treatment. He moaned. Every bone in his body was broken. Would this nightmare ever end?’ Willy knew he could not help himself, let alone the millions of grain looking to him for salvation. They would all have to die. But he, Willy, woulddie gloriously.
Suddenly, Willy sailed through the darkness. Muffled cries for help drifted up from the bowels of the machine. The wind whistled about his ears more an enemy than a friend.
He landed with a bone-jarring thud, the breath leaving his lungs in a loud swoosh. He lay still and silent, covered by lumps of earth that tortured his sense of smell and flattened his body.
Clouds reared up in the sky, menacing and warlike, ready for battle, concealing the yellow glory of the sun as they march across the sky rank upon rank. Thunder began to roll among the distant hills. Willie whimpered, ‘what am I to do, I can’t move stuck in all this dirt.I am hurting all over.' The rain drops, like bullets, pelted him pushing him deeper into the soil, fear tore at his innards. Willy thought he heard a feeble voice next to him it sounded like Olly Oats, ‘I thought you were a Super Wheat and could save the world.’
‘I am a Super Wheat it was what I was bred for,’ Willy mumbled through a mouthful of dirt.’ You will see I will save the world. Willy uttered these last words, as gushing water swirled around him and into his mouth.
The combat in the heavens continued to rage. Blinded by his tears and arrows of rain, Willy surrendered up the ineffectual struggle against decay. The brown earth received Willy into its bosom with joy.
Peace suffused the valley after the rage of the storm. The distant hills shrouded in the lingering remnants of night, blushed as the sun coyly kissed the craggy heights, softening into smooth outlines against the delicate dawn of a new day. The brown earth, spongy and soft, basked in the sun’s loving caresses giving off a steamy haze.
Pulsating with increased vigor, the land glowed with a faint green as fragile shoots began to rise out of beds of cloying earth.
To Live Again
The Multiplication of Willy
The emaciated form of Willy, now only an outline in the dirt had given way to a vigorous plant, avidly reaching for the sky seeking a love affair with the sun to support the shoots fanning out greedy to soak in the moisture and nutrients, impoverishing and dwarfing other grains striving for sustainability.
The golden beauty of Willy Super wheat had vanished. In place of the boastful Willie was a super wheat seedling green vigorous, greedy, pulsating with life, ready to save the world.
Willie might have died but he was living in the strong green plant, come harvest time, there would be hundreds of Willie Super grains to be reaped. Willie would never die.
The words, ‘unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies it will live alone,' are true of Willy. Willie might have died but out of his death hundreds of others lived to feed the world.
It is also true of we humans, unless we are prepared to give ourselves to our marriages, our families, our friendships, our communities and work places, we shall find ourselves alone. But let us give ourselves wholeheartedly and we shall be multiplied many times over. Our lives will be rich and we shall be remembered long after our passing.