The Rich Man and the Poor Man
A page made by Seligor of things that maybe you won't know of, till now.
The Rich Man and the Poor Man
A rich man and a poor man sat beneath the pink and lemon blossom trees of Spring.
The rich man said:
"Ah the scent of these trees gives me a headache. I am not too dull a fellow that my mind does not tell me how beautiful it is. But then I begin to think of how I might buy up this land so that the trees are exclusively mine and then I might find somehow to bottle that delicious perfume and market it."
"You do not need the money," said the poor man. "I would bring my ailing daughter here that she might look at the wonderful colour and smell the delicious scent, but she is very sickly and the perfume would overpower her."
The rich man mopped his brow with a silk handkerchief embroidered and sewn with precious jewels. A thought struck him. He pulled out a second handkerchief, just as beautiful as the first. He offered it to the poor man.
"Take this." he cried, "Put it over your daughters mouth that the heady perfume of the pink and lemon blossom be not too strong for her chest and senses!"
The poor man looked abashed and pondered thoughtfully. Finally, and not without some consternation, he spoke:
"I thankyou, Sir, but alas, I cannot; I am, you see, to proud to accept such a magnificent gift."
In the amiable silence that followed, a brace of pale-green winged zephyrs disported in the mellow afternoon sunlight, a golden canary settled on a clump of pink blossom and a fire-bird alighted on a branch positively efflorescent with startling lemon petals, where it promptly fell asleep.
The rich man called his servant, who produced a bag containing a flask of wine, a loaf of bread, and a selection of dried figs and apricots. The poor man deigned to share the welcome feast.
"When I was a young merchant, and still quite slim," said the rich man, "I often thought of travelling to some far distant land, of finding a proud and beautiful princess there, and then woo her. She would have been fine boned and delicate, with lustrous chestnut hair, decorated and perfumed with pink and lemon blossom."
He produced two bright red apples and offered one to the poor man. A sigh escaped his well rounded form. He simply could not stop his mind from hatching new and convoluted schemes to make a profit from those blossom-trees.
"Blossom is fine," said the poor man, "but fruit sits better on an empty stomach.
My own wife was a beauty in her day, her voice as sweet as apples once, before she took to working everyday in the Linen-factory; but autumn follows summer, just as summer follows spring. Sweet apples can turn sour out of season and a sweet temper turn to tantrums. A sour apple can give a fellow a belly-ache in his head.
In his hovel, the poor man's daughter coughed into a filthy rag.
Through a hole in the wall she watched the pink and lemon blossom on the trees, softly moving on the scented breeze.
In the rich man's palace, his cooks were beginning to prepare his evening meal.
"I must be going," said the poor man, and thanked .his companion for the afternoon repast. In his pocket he carried a half-eaten apple to give to his daughter.
The rich man nodded, and summoning his servant, he made to mount his horse.
"Blossom-jam," he was thinking. "The resin of the bark seems thick and pungent. Perhaps it has some medicinal properties........
Meanwhile, the fire-bird had awoken and was eyeing the chattering canary with significant disfavour.
"Can't a chap get any sleep around here," he grumbled. and shook his magnificent feathers.
In the distance, the evening whistle blew at the Linen-factory and presently, a thin line of gaunt and tired women emerged into the gathering dusk.
More from the pen of Willowdown©.