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Parable of the Plants

One day a boy named Stu happened to be skipping by an orchard near his home and discovered six small plants all in a nice neat row. He stopped and looked at each plant very carefully. How droopy they each looked.

Being a curious and determined little boy, Stu marched up to the first plant and said, "Little plant, what's wrong with you?"

"What's wrong with me?" the plant responded. "Why, nothing! This is the way I'm supposed to look. Surely you can see that I'm the same as all the others."

"Well, yes..." Stu frowned a bit in thought and then walked over to the second plant. "Little plant, what's wrong with you?"

"Let me tell you what's wrong!" it said heatedly. "First of all, this is crummy soil. I need an acid pH soil and this is alkaline. I need a place where I can stick my roots down deep, but there's hardpan here, and who can get any sunlight while that big oak tree hogs it? Whoever planted me didn't know what he was doing."

"Hmmm..." said Stu, and strolled over to the third plant. "Little plant, what's wrong with you?"

It pointed its longest, droopiest leaf to the others. "It's their fault. I was here first. I was the first one to come up. There was plenty of room for me to grow, plenty of room for just one plant. Then they came. Before you know it, we were arguing. I told them by rights the water belonged to me, but they disagreed. Sure enough, the water table soon dropped — the summer heat hit us, and it was too late. Now look at us. If the would only get up and leave my property I know I could make it."

The boy politely thanked him and approached the fourth plant. "Little plant, what's wrong with you?'

But the little plant said nothing. "Little plant, what's wrong with you? Little plant, what's..." Stu stood quite still. Now he realized the plant was dead. He shook his head and walked over to the next plant. "Please, little plant, tell me what's wrong with you?"

"Well, it looks tough now," it said stoutly, "but I know I can make it. If I just get a little water from over there and stretch a bit out in the sunlight and grow an angle here, I'll have it licked. I can make it on my own. I don't know about the rest of them, but I'm going to do all it takes to survive. I'll struggle, cut corners, squeeze — no doubt about it, I'll make it."

"Good for you!" cried Stu. He hummed a catchy little tune and then leaned down close to the last little plant. "Now, little plant, what's wrong with you?'

"Water! I need water," it said matter-of-factly. "But there's no way to get it. Young man, would you be so kind as to fetch me some water and pour it around these parched roots? Then I'll firm up and be healthy and strong."

So, the little boy watered the sixth plant and it grew and grew and grew.

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward