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The Gift and the Giver

        | HSW

The farmer had not seen a more magnificent apple.
The farmer had not seen a more magnificent apple.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Once there was a very poor farmer who found a magnificent apple growing on a tree in his field. It was so large, so shiny, and so well-shaped that the farmer cried with joy when he saw it. In all his days, the farmer had never seen such a magnificent apple on any tree, anywhere.

The farmer picked the apple, wrapped it in his coat, and took it home. Once there, he could not wait to show it to his wife and daughter. When he uncovered the apple in front of them, they were as amazed at it as he was.

They all wondered what should be done with the apple. The farmer wanted to give it to his daughter, so he told her, "This is truly the only thing that matches you in beauty. I want you to take this apple, eat it, and enjoy it."

But the daughter was modest, and she told her father that he should keep the apple for himself. She believed that the apple had been given to her father as a sign of God's love and blessings. "It is worthy of a king," the daughter said, complimenting her father.

"You are right," the farmer said, thinking of their king instead. "Such a perfect piece of fruit is worthy of a king. It is the only gift that I, a poor farmer, can give that would be worthy of our king."

He left for the royal city to give the apple to the king.
He left for the royal city to give the apple to the king.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

The farmer soon left for the royal city. After many days he reached the city, but when he got to the palace, the poor farmer could not get in to see the king. The palace guards laughed at him and would not let him in.

"The king has thousands of fruit trees," said one of the guards. "We are sure that your apple cannot be any more beautiful than the ones the king already has."

The farmer asked the guards to look more closely at what he had brought. The apple was still as beautiful as it had been the day he had picked it.

Finally, a guard called for his commander to look at the apple. The commander was very impressed. He admired the apple as much as the farmer did, so he decided to bring the farmer to the king's chambers.

To see what the king thinks of the apple, go to the next page.

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