Once there was a big and tall apple tree. A boy came by and they immediately became best friends. The boy would climb the apple tree’s branches every day and nap under its shade when he got tired. When the boy was hungry, the apple tree provided its juicy apples to him. The apple tree treated the boy very kindly and they enjoyed spending time with each other.
A few years later, the boy had to go to school and couldn’t play with the apple tree every day anymore. A few months had passed and the boy had not visited the apple tree. The apple tree was really sad. One day, the boy came to the apple tree. The apple tree was so happy when it saw him.
“Come play with me! I thought you would never come back!” it said. The boy replied, “I am not a little child anymore, I don’t play with trees. I want to play with toys, do you have any money for me to buy toys?”
The apple tree was hurt when it heard that. However, it said to the boy, “Dear boy, I do not have any money but you can pick all of my apples and sell them in the market for money for your toys.”
The boy was so happy, he quickly climbed up the apple tree and picked all of its apples to sell at the market. The apple tree could only look at him leave it alone once again.
After a long time, the boy had not visited the apple tree again. The apple tree was so sad it had stopped producing apples anymore. A decade had passed and one day, the boy, now a young man, came to the apple tree again.
“My dear boy! Come play with me! Where have you been all these years?” the tree asked. The boy said, “I have no time to play with you, I have a job and a family now. I need to build a house for my family to live in. Can you help me?”
The apple tree replied, “You can cut down my tree branches to build a house for your family. As much as you need.”
Without saying thanks, the boy hastily sawed off all of the apple tree’s branches and carried them away.
As usual, the tree waited for the boy to come back. This time, three decades passed and finally it managed to see the boy again.
“My dearest friend, good to see you again! Let’s play!” the apple tree said happily. The boy said exasperatedly, “How many times do I need to tell you? I’m an adult now, I don’t play with trees!” The apple tree sighed when it heard this.
The boy continued, “I’m retired now, I want to travel and sail around the world to relax. Can you help me?”
The apple tree said, “Boy, you can cut my tree trunk and make a boat. You can sail far away and be happy.”
Cheerfully, the boy chopped off the apple tree’s trunk and carried it away to make his boat. The apple tree, left with only a stump and its dying roots, continued to wait for the boy’s return from his travels.
Two decades later, the boy, now an aging old man with a head full of white hair, returned to the apple tree.
“My dear boy, I have nothing left for you. My apples are all gone, I have no more branches and tree trunk for you to climb…” the apple tree started.
The boy said, “I am a very old man now, I have no teeth to eat apples and I have no energy to climb trees.”
“I really have nothing to give to you now. The only thing left of me are my dying roots,” the apple tree said with tears in its eyes.
“I do not need much now, I just need a place to rest my weary feet after all these years,” the boy said.
The apple tree replied, “Good! Old tree roots are the best place to lean and sit on. Come, my boy. Sit down with me and rest. We can keep each other company.”
The old boy wobbled over to the apple tree and sat on its stump. They reminisced about their past and the apple tree was so happy it cried tears of joy.
This parable is a gentle reminder for everyone. The apple tree represents our parents. When we were young, we did everything together with our parents. After we went to school, we only went to them when we needed something, like money. When we grew up, we only went to visit them when we were in trouble and needed their help. No matter what happened, our parents waited patiently for us to visit them and would help us even by giving us their everything. You may think that the boy in the story is cruel to the apple tree, but in actual fact, that is how all of us treat our parents.
Love your parents now. You never know what will happen in the future. Cook for them once in a while. Better yet, bring them to CulinaryOn and engage them in our entertaining cooking class together. Your parents will appreciate that you are spending quality time with them. Contact us now for more details on our classes.