Thursday, April 26, 2012

A parable: the apple and the pear

There was a farmer who awoke one morning to tend to their orchard. His apple trees were ready to produce fruit but his pears had all been harvested.

What distressed the farmer was that the price of pears was so much higher than apples that he knew his income would now go down. But as he walked through his orchard he noticed some bruised apples that looked a bit like his pears and so an idea was born.

The farmer took the bruised fruit to the market along with his apples and presented his fruit to the seller. "I've got this new crop of apples, and also my new crop of pears," the farmer said.

"They look like apples, to me," the seller said. "Yeah, pretty cool, huh?" said the farmer. "They're a new hybrid." And so the farmer sold his fruit.

One week later the farmer returned to the market, but this time with only apples. "Where are those new pears?" the seller asked. "My customers love them. At first they said they were only bruised apples but when I told them they were a new hybrid eventually they were all sold, and at a higher price!"

"I didn't harvest any this week, but maybe there will be some more next week," said the farmer.

"Bring me more of these pears and I'll double what I paid you," said the seller.

And so the farmer went back to his orchard and told his staff that they needed to harvest the apples, take half of them to the barn and begin throwing them against the wall in order to bruise them.

But one day the seller appeared at the farmer's orchard and saw what the farmer was doing. "That's a terrible thing to do the apples!" the seller said.

But the farmer asked the seller if he was able to sell the new "pears", and if he was making more money selling those as pears than if he sold them as bruised apples?

The seller thought for a moment and reached down into a basket of apples, pulled one out and hurled it towards the side of the barn.