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"Nature Knows Best" Stories 1

Hen’s Aren’t Factories (adapted from Aesop)

Keywords: hen, food, nature knows best

Summary: A woman once had a hen that laid a wonderful egg every morning. She thought to herself, “If I double my hen’s food, she’ll lay twice as much.” So she did, and the hen got so contented that she stopped laying. The angry woman kicked the prized chicken and it fell down dead and there were no more excellent eggs.

Handford, S. A. Aesop's Fables (New York: Puffin, 1994). 212pp. ISBN 0-14-130929-6.

Zipes, Jack ed., Aesop's Fables (New York: Signet Classic, 1992). 288pp. ISBN 0-451-52565-5pa.

 

The Farmer’s Sons (Aesop)

Keywords: farmer, sons, garden, nature knows best, no such thing as a "free lunch," everything costs something, expansion

Summary: A farmer lay on his deathbed, talking to his lazy sons. “My sons, I have buried a great treasure in the garden, but I have forgotten where it is. But if you find it, you will live well.” After their father died, the sons just spent the money and ate the food that their father had gathered. But when that ran out, they tried to find the treasure by digging up the garden. They didn’t find a treasure, but once the garden had been turned over, it was ready for planting. So they planted a crop and grew vegetables to eat and sell in the market. The next year they searched the garden again, and planted it after digging it up. Year after year they did this, until they looked at their full money jar on the kitchen counter and realized that there father had been right. There was a treasure in the garden, if they knew where to look.

Handford, S. A. Aesop's Fables (New York: Puffin, 1994). 212pp. ISBN 0-14-130929-6.

Zipes, Jack ed., Aesop's Fables (New York: Signet Classic, 1992). 288pp. ISBN 0-451-52565-5pa.

 

The Sun’s Marriage (Aesop)

Keywords: sun, frog, birds, beasts, marshes, drought, no such thing as a "free lunch," everything costs something

Summary: One very warm summer day, word spread among the animals that the Sun was getting married. The birds and beasts celebrated the occasion until an old Frog reminded them. “This is a tragedy, not a celebration. Just imagine what will happen to our marshes and watering holes of the Sun should give birth to a dozen little suns like itself?”

Handford, S. A. Aesop's Fables (New York: Puffin, 1994). 212pp. ISBN 0-14-130929-6.

Zipes, Jack ed., Aesop's Fables (New York: Signet Classic, 1992). 288pp. ISBN 0-451-52565-5pa.

 

Hodja and the Mulberry Tree (Turkey)

Keywords: mulberry, tree, Hodja, nature knows best

Summary: Hodja Nasrudin was resting under a mulberry tree and wondering why Allah (God) had given the mulberry tree tiny fruit while he gave pumpkins nothing but weak vines to hold them up. Then the mulberry fell "splat" on his forehead, and the teacher understood. "Now I see, everything happens for a purpose."

"What Is It All For?" on page 165 in Indries Shah, The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin (London: Mulla Nasrudin Enterprises Ltd, 1968). 218pp.

"Nazrudin and the Mulberry Tree," on page 22 in Susan Strauss, The Passionate Fact: Storytelling in Natural History and Cultural Interpretation (Golden, CO: North American Press, 1996). 152pp. $16.95pa. ISBN 1-55591-925-1pa.

Find another version in Kevin Strauss, Tales with Tails: storytelling the wonders of the natural world. (Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2006). 230pp. $35.00pa. ISBN 1-59158-269-5pa.

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