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The Ears Of Wheat

from Good Stories For Great Holidays - THANKSGIVING DAY





BY THE BROTHERS GRIMM (TRANSLATED)

Ages upon ages ago, says the German grandmother, when angels used to
wander on earth, the ground was more fruitful than it is now. Then
the stalks of wheat bore not fifty or sixty fold, but four times five
hundred fold. Then the wheat-ears grew from the bottom to the top of the
stalk. But the men of the earth forgot that this blessing came from God,
and they became idle and selfish.

One day a woman went through a wheat-field, and her little child, who
accompanied her, fell into a puddle and soiled her frock. The mother
tore off a handful of the wheat-ears and cleaned the child's dress with
them.

Just then an angel passed by and saw her. Wrathfully he spoke:--

"Wasteful woman, no longer shall the wheat-stalks produce ears. You
mortals are not worthy of the gifts of Heaven!"

Some peasants who were gathering wheat in the fields heard this, and
falling on their knees, prayed and entreated the angel to leave the
wheat alone, not only on their account, but for the sake of the little
birds who otherwise must perish of hunger.

The angel pitied their distress, and granted a part of the prayer. And
from that day to this the ears of wheat have grown as they do now.





Next: How Indian Corn Came Into The World

Previous: Saint Cuthbert's Eagle



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