The Farmer's Secret

There once lived an old farmer in a small town near the river bend. His farm grew plentiful crops year after year. One day, a young farmer from the next town went for a swim in the river, near the old farmer’s lands. As he bathed, he noticed the lush growth of the old farmer’s crops. He was bewildered by them, and felt jealous, as his own crops paled in comparison. He decided to seek out the old farmer to learn his secrets.

“Tell me, old man, what is the secret to your crops? I suspect it must be the location…” said the young farmer. “Being near the river must feed your farm. How lucky you are!”

The old farmer pondered his question. “I’m afraid I have no secrets to share. Every day, I tend to the crops and feed the animals. I nurture the farm, and in turn, it nurtures me.”

The young farmer was unimpressed. “An old man like you cannot grow crops like these through hard work. There is more to your farm than meets the eye. I’m sure it’s the river that feeds your farm’s growth!”

The Farmer

The young farmer resolved to start a new farm next to the old farmer’s.

A year later, the young farmer came to visit his neighbor. “How strange! My farm is right next to yours, yet it does not grow even half the crop. I must be using the wrong seed. Where do you obtain yours, old man?”

“The seed is from the market down the hill, sold by a young boy. He cannot afford the best ingredients, but he toils hard to make his seed.”

“Aha! So the secret is your seed. You have stumbled upon a seed specialized for river farms, and you don’t even know it. What wonderful luck!”

The young farmer raced to the market, and bought all the seed the boy had in his stall.

A year later, the young farmer came to visit his neighbor once again. “I have moved to new lands, and planted new seeds. None of your secrets work! You must use magical spells to aid your farm, or make agreements with the devil. Tell me the truth, old man, so I too can join your scheme!”

“I have no secret to share. Every day, I do the work. That is all I know.”

The young farmer sighed. “Can you teach me?”

The old farmer smiled. “Grab your shovel. Let’s get to work.”