The Wonder Tree
: ARBOR DAY
: Good Stories For Great Holidays
BY FRIEDRICH ADOLPH KRUMMACHER (ADAPTED)
One day in the springtime, Prince Solomon was sitting under the palm
trees in the royal gardens, when he saw the Prophet Nathan walking near.
"Nathan," said the Prince, "I would see a wonder."
The Prophet smiled. "I had the same desire in the days of my youth," he
"And was it fulfilled?" asked Solomon.
"A Man of God came to me," said Nathan, "having a pomegranate seed in
his hand. 'Behold,' he said, 'what will become of this.' Then he made a
hole in the ground, and planted the seed, and covered it over. When he
withdrew his hand the clods of earth opened, and I saw two small leaves
coming forth. But scarcely had I beheld them, when they joined together
and became a small stem wrapped in bark; and the stem grew before my
eyes,--and it grew thicker and higher and became covered with branches.
"I marveled, but the Man of God motioned me to be silent. 'Behold,' said
he, 'new creations begin.'
"Then he took water in the palm of his hand, and sprinkled the branches
three times, and, lo! the branches were covered with green leaves, so
that a cool shade spread above us, and the air was fined with perfume.
"'From whence come this perfume and this shade?' cried I.
"'Dost thou not see,' he answered, 'these crimson flowers bursting from
among the leaves, and hanging in clusters?'
"I was about to speak, but a gentle breeze moved the leaves, scattering
the petals of the flowers around us. Scarcely had the falling flowers
reached the ground when I saw ruddy pomegranates hanging beneath the
leaves of the tree, like almonds on Aaron's rod. Then the Man of God
left me, and I was lost in amazement."
"Where is he, this Man of God?" asked Prince Solomon eagerly. "What is
his name? Is he still alive?"
"Son of David," answered Nathan, "I have spoken to thee of a vision."
When the Prince heard this he was grieved to the heart. "How couldst
thou deceive me thus?" he asked.
But the Prophet replied: "Behold in thy father's gardens thou mayest
daily see the unfolding of wonder trees. Doth not this same miracle
happen to the fig, the date, and the pomegranate? They spring from the
earth, they put out branches and leaves, they flower, they fruit,--not
in a moment, perhaps, but in months and years,--but canst thou tell the
difference betwixt a minute, a month, or a year in the eyes of Him with
whom one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day?"