THE PEASANT AND THE APPLE-TREE
A Peasant had an Apple-tree growing in his garden, which bore no
fruit, but merely served to provide a shelter from the heat for the
sparrows and grasshoppers which sat and chirped in its branches.
Disappointed at its barrenness he determined to cut it down, and went
and fetched his axe for the purpose. But when the sparrows and the
grasshoppers saw what he was about to do, they begged him to spare
it, and said to him, "If you destroy the tree we shall have to seek
shelter elsewhere, and you will no longer have our merry chirping to
enliven your work in the garden." He, however, refused to listen to
them, and set to work with a will to cut through the trunk. A few
strokes showed that it was hollow inside and contained a swarm of bees
and a large store of honey. Delighted with his find he threw down his
axe, saying, "The old tree is worth keeping after all."
Utility is most men's test of worth.