Mar 30, 2010

A Tale of Two Apples.

Once upon a time there was a girl. She had a good life, this girl. In fact, some would say she had a great life.

Often she would hear people say things like "everything is handed to her on a silver platter," which must just be some old saying she thought to herself, for she had never in fact seen a silver platter sitting around her house. Once she heard someone whisper "she doesn't have to work for anything, its just handed to her." She laughed at this because she knew, deep down in her heart, that everyone - at one time or another - has to work for something.

And it was then that she sat down under a big oak tree, leaned against it to take in all the sunshine and warm breeze, and thought about the day she worked for something.

It had not been so long ago that she had been walking through the woods to her grandma's house...(okay, okay, it wasn't actually her grandma's house as much as it was Costco, but "grandma's house" sounds better in these scenarios so we're stickin' with it)...when she ran into a snake right in the middle of the road.

She hated snakes. With a passion! They were usually brown or black, long and fat, and did nothing but hiss. So why then was this one the most beautiful colors she had ever seen? Why was he short and sleek? And why did he talk instead of hiss? It intrigued her, and in a moment of complete and utter IDIOCY (again, not a fairytale word, but you get the picture) she let him talk.

"You're beautiful," he said to her. Knowing full well that no girl can ever hear that enough.

"Surprisingly are you," she replied.

"Am I? This old thing? Why I just threw it on, I had no idea I'd be bumping in to anyone," he lied, through his forked little tongue. "Where are you going? You seem in a hurry?"

"I am. I'm going to, uh, Cos...I'm headed to my grandma's house."

"Are you? Interesting. I wouldn't want to keep you any longer than I needed to. However, I noticed that you are out here in the sunshine with nothing to eat, nothing to drink. We need to change that."

"No, I'm fine."

"You are most certainly not. You are famished. And look at me, lying just below this big apple tree. How rude am I? Why, I could just slither up this tree and hand you an apple or two...and I shall." And with great speed he rushed to the top of a tree and plucked two red apples right out of it. Before she could blink he was back down on the ground with two delicious red apples waiting for her guessed it....a silver platter.

"Here," he moaned, "haavveee one."

"Oh, okay. Thank you."

"You're very welcome. Just be careful which one you choose."

"What do you mean? They both look delicious."

"And they are. They really are. However, I couldn't' reach as I high as I wanted for some of the most exquisite apples so I could only grab one really grand apple and one, well, not-so-grand apple."

"Oh, please don't apologize. They are both too much. I can only eat one anyway. So don't worry."

"So I won't. I will not worry. I just want to make sure that you choose the best apple. For you apple is plump and juicy, its skin tight and sweet. I can imagine it tastes so good going down. It is a quick fix for a hot day like this one, isn't it?"

"It certainly is. But the other looks just as good."

"Oh, it is. However, it doesn't go down as well. It's a tad lumpy. The flavor isn't quite all it could be. And, well, honestly I'm a little embarrassed to serve it to you. Besides, I'm not sure the flavor of this apple will stay with you as long as the other one. The plump juicy apple will stay with you foooreevvverrr. I am most proud of it."

"Then eat it I shall." And she did. She bit into that apple so quickly that she never stopped to even consider the other one. For one looked juicy - while one looked blah. One looked sublime - while one looked harsh. One looked easy - while one looked a tad hard. Her decision was made. And before you knew it the entire apple was eaten. And it tasted???? Fabulous.

"Thank you," she tried to say to him. But he was slithering away as fast as he could go.

"No need to thank me," he yelled back. "Just doing my job."

Her trip to grandma's house went fine that day. Her next several trips went fine. In fact, her next several weeks went fine. But slowly, and over time, she was not fine. The taste in her mouth was yucky. The smell of her breath was disgusting. Everything she tasted, everything she ate was poisoned by the scent of that apple. Over time it wasn't just her taste, it even became her words. Her words were changed into harsh words, her tongue was as bent as it had ever been. Her attitude was jaded and her comments were critical. And with every scowl and sarcastic come-back she tasted over and over and over...what had at one time been one red, delicious apple.

The breeze became chilly that late afternoon, and the little girl under the oak tree finally awoke. She wrapped her cape around her, stood and brushed herself off and started off down the road until she came upon a familiar sight.

There he lay, in the middle of the road, dressed differently this time - as to disguise himself once more - but still with impeccable taste and the finest of manners.

"My, my, we meet again" he said smartly.

"I see that we do."

"And where are we headed today my friend?"

"Today I am going to Costco."

"What happened to grandma's house?"

"Oh cut the bull, snake. You know I go to Costco like three times a week."

"Could I interest you in a snack before you go?"

"No thank you. Not interested." And with an about face, she turned and walked away. And as she did she thought of the two apples. And she thought about how one choice, one small, seemingly insignificant choice can determine the way you live your life from that moment forward. She thought about how our life is determined by the sum of our choices and she shuttered in the cold spring air.

For one apple, though easy to swallow, had colored her choices, her future, her relationships and her life.

While the other apple, though tougher to digest, and not as attractive at first glance would have satisfied her in an entirely different way.

And from this encounter she learned that every one of us get the chance to choose between two apples. One that makes you BITTER. And one that makes you BETTER.

So no longer could the townspeople say "she's never had to work for anything," because it was no longer true. Bitterness is hard to remove from one's heart. It takes days, weeks, months and years. It requires re-building and re-pairing the destruction it has left in its wake. And her hands were blistered from the labor.

But as she wrapped her cape tightly around her shoulders she took from her bag a big red apple and to herself she thought....."You might not be the most beautiful apple on that tree. You might not satisfy me as quickly or satiate my thirst quite as swiftly, but when I am done eating you I will delight in your taste and not become sick from your poison."

And from that day forward she chose her words, her thoughts and her apples...very very wisely.

The End.


Leah B said...

AMAZING!!! I needed to hear that today!

J. Henry said...

love love LOVE this post! Thank you!

MBush said...

Thanks! Great post!

Crazy Sister said...

What a well-written story!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I needed that... Thank you!