This is a tale of two farmers.

The first farmer didn’t have any money. He lived in a small wooden shack with dirt floors. The house was owned by his employer a rather wealthy farmer. Each day the farmer went out and worked hard for his employer, plowing fields, harvesting crops and taking care of livestock. This farmer was very poor.

The very poor farmer had six children. He rarely saw his children because he worked from sunup to sundown. When he came home at night, he wanted the children in bed so he did not have to hear them crying, complaining or whooping and hollering in play. The children all learned very quickly to stay out of their father’s way. If they did not, they might get the end of switch or worse, yet, they might witness their father giving their mother a similar treatment.

Every Friday, the very poor farmer would get $10 pay for his work and a little bit of whatever the wealthy farmer had left over. He would give whatever leftovers the farmer had given him to his wife to feed the family for the next week. His wife would then tell him what she needed from the grocery store in town to help round out the family meals for the week and a list of other needed items.

With the $10 in hand, the very poor farmer would begin his five-mile walk to town. This week, as he walked he repeated to himself what things he needed to purchase from the store. About a mile from home, though, other thoughts seemed to creep into his mind. “I toil all week long, why should I have to spend all the money I make on these things? I really deserve something more for working all week than bringing back this list of wants to my wife. Who does she think she is anyway, telling me what to do with my money?” By the final mile, the thoughts were overwhelming. “I could just buy myself one thing couldn’t I? I deserve that much don’t I?”

And so by the time he got to the tavern on the edge of town, his thoughts governed his actions. He turned, entered the door, sat down at the bar and gave the bartender a sad look as he set the usual in front of him. The very poor farmer slowly pulled the $10 bill from the pocket of his worn overalls, which were poorly patched and torn. He laid the money on the counter never to see it again.

And that day, for lack of a dream, a family began to die.

The second farmer also did not have any money. He lived in a small wooden house with dirt floors. The house was owned by his employer, a rather wealthy farmer.
Each day the farmer went out and worked hard for his employer, plowing fields, harvesting crops and taking care of livestock. This farmer was very rich.

The very rich farmer had two children. He rushed home each evening as soon as his work was done to be able to spend time talking and playing with his children. There were smiles between the very rich farmer and his wife and laughter throughout the house.

Every Friday, the very rich farmer would get $10 pay for his work and a little bit of whatever the wealthy farmer had left over. He would give whatever leftovers the farmer had given him to his wife to feed the family for the next week. His wife would then tell him what she needed from the grocery store in town to help round out the family meals for the week and a list of other needed items.

With the $10 in hand, the very rich farmer would ride his employer’s horse to town. This week, as he rode he repeated to himself the list of things he needed to purchase from the store. About a mile from home, though, other thoughts crept into his mind. “I toil all week long in the fields and taking care of the farmer’s livestock, but my wife works hard taking care of our children. I want to do more for them. I want to give them a farm that one day they can inherit.. I wonder how I could purchase a farm so that I could work for my family and myself rather than just for my employer?” By the final mile and the thoughts were overwhelming. “This is a dream I must share with my wife and children and together we will work hard to make it happen. We will own our own farm. We will build our own home. We will make this dream come true.”

And so, when the very rich farmer got to town, he went to the dry goods store and the grocery store and bought the items his family needed. He was very careful in his shopping to get quality items at the best price. He was very pleased at the end of his shopping to have half the money he started with left.

Excited, he galloped home where the very rich farmer was greeted at the door by his wife and children. After hugs, he told them all he had a very big surprise. The very rich farmer slowly pulled the $5 from the pocket of his worn overalls, which had been meticulously patched so that it would difficult to see where the tears had been. He laid the money on the kitchen table and declared to his family, “This is a down payment on our own farm.”

And that day, because of a dream, a family began to live.

This is a tale of two farmers. Both were my grandfathers. One died before I knew him. One lived to pass a dream on to my family, which is very much alive today. I thank God for the very rich farmer.

Fiction: The Emotional Breakdown
Laying in on the line
treeparker

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This