November 28, 2007

The Garden

Once upon a time, when animals first appeared on the earth, all creatures lived in peace with one another. The animals soon grew hungry, however. So they called a meeting.

A suggestion was made that they plant a garden. Unfortunately, none of the animals knew anything about gardening. "What will we plant?" they asked. "When will we plant it? How will we plant it?"

They pondered these questions for some time. Finally, Turtle spoke. "We need to find someone who can show us how to grow a garden."

"Sounds like a great idea!" said Squirrel.

"Yes, but who can we find?" said Fox.

It just so happened that Coyote, who was not at the meeting because his house was far away, had managed to grow a fine garden. So the animals went to see Coyote. It was a long, long journey to Coyote's house. The animals weren't sure of the way. Fortunately, the path they had chosen led them right, and eventually they arrived at Coyote's door. "Coyote," they said, "will you come show us how to grow a garden?"

"I have my own garden to take care of," Coyote said. "If I leave, who will take care of it? No, I can't come. I must stay here."

The animals were not willing to give up. "If you come," they said, "You may live among us. Our home will be your home. The food we raise will be shared with you. "Oh, please come!"

Coyote thought for a moment, thens said, "I will come."

He gathered up his tools; the animals helped him carry them. He gathered up some seeds and a few small seedlings. Then he followed the animals on the long journey to their home.

And so, Coyote began to teach them about gardening. He taught them the importance of sun, rain, and soil, the gifts of God that make a garden grow. "Receive these gifts from the Creator," he said. "Use them to grow your garden."

He showed them the tools for gardening: shovels, hoes, hands and paws. "These are your tools," he said. "Use them to grow your garden."

He demonstrated for them how to work a garden. He showed them how to dig, plant seeds, and tend the plants. "This is the work you must do," he said. "Use your energy to grow your garden."

The animals looked at Coyote. They looked at the tools lying in the sun. They looked at each other. "What are you waiting for?" asked Coyote. "You have the Creator's gifts, you have the tools, and you have the energy. I have shown you how to use these things to make your garden grow."

However, the animals did not work in their garden, and the garden did not grow.

Coyote didn't know what to do. He loved his new friends. Yet he could not get them to work their garden; and of course, he could not do all the work himself.

Reluctantly, he told his friends, "I have to return home."

Turtle said, "But your home is so far away."

"Yes, it is," said Coyote.

"Squirrel said, "do you think your garden will still be there when you get home?"

"Probably not," said Coyote.

Fox said, "You might as well go, seeing as you haven't given us a garden."

"Yes," sighed Coyote, "I might as well."

After Coyote left, the animals noticed that they were still hungry. It wasn't long until their bellies ached with hunger. Soon, they began to eye one another....

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