The Rare Japanese Cherry Tree
Solar plexus: Dedication and Commitment.
The Story: A new King has been crowned, still a young man in his 30s, he decides to travel his kingdom to meet his people. He enjoys the outdoors. He has been trained as a horticulturist and takes great pleasure is looking at trees and plants. A few days into his trip around his kingdom he rides into a valley and before him stands a wonderful farm. Understanding about plants he instantly knows that whoever looks after this farm takes great care of his trees and plants, it is a delight to see. As he approaches the house he spots the farmer, a man in his 40’s perhaps, planting a young tree. As he gets closer he realizes what tree is being planted. He is the King and studied with the best, however he doubted if ever he would see the day when he would see this particular tree with his own eyes.
“Do you know what tree you are planting there?” he spoke out. The farmer looked up and recognized the newly crowned king, having seen him last week in the town.
“Yes, your majesty” the farmer said.
The King raised his eyebrow as if to say are you sure? “It is a rare Japanese cherry tree your majesty” he continued.
The king was pleased that the farmer knew. “Do you know why it is so rare?” questioned the king.
“Yes, your majesty” responded the farmer, “it takes 30+ years to give its first fruit”. “Then why do you plant the tree?” the King asked, “It is possible that you may never see it bear its first fruit.”
“That is true your majesty” the farmer responded, “but if I do, I will be delighted and if I don’t than my kids can enjoy the fruit of this tree.”
The King was so impressed with the dedication of the farmer that he told him, “if I am still alive when the tree gives its first fruit, bring it to me and we can share the cherries together.”
Years have gone by and the farmer looks after the tree. 35 years later it gives its first fruit. The farmer, now in his late 70’s, picked the first bowl from the tree and started to saddle his donkey to make the two-day trip to the capital. His son and his grandson both tried to talk him out of it. They heard the story many times of how he has met the King and how he invited him to share the first cherries from this tree with him. But deep down they never really believed the old man. Why would a King invite a farmer to his castle?
The old farmer arrived at the castle and presented himself to the chamberlain, requesting to meet with the King. The chamberlain laughed and asked, “have you got an appointment with his majesty?” The farmer thought about his response and told him that the King is expecting him, for he has brought him cherries from a Japanese cherry tree. The chamberlain doubted this very much but sends a servant to ask. A few minutes later the servant returns and tells the chamberlain to bring the farmer at once to the great hall.
This was unheard of. However, the chamberlin did as the King requested and asked the farmer to follow him at once. As they enter the great hall all the nobles turn around, what’s this? what business does a simple farmer have in the great hall for nobles and
kings. The King however, a man in his 60s, walks straight to the farmer and gives him a huge hug. They then cross the hall and talk as if they’ve known each other for a lifetime. This created a huge buzz among the nobles. Who is this farmer? How does the king know him? They eat the delicious cherries and talk about the last 35 years. When they finish the farmer stands up and asks for his leave, “it is time for me to return to my farm your majesty, it is 2-day ride.” The king understands, but before he dismisses the farmer he opens his treasure chest and takes out two hands full of gold coins and fills the bowl that the farmer brought the cherries in to the top and says, “Thank you.” It was more gold than the farmer has seen in his entire life, he smiles thanks the king and is on his way.
The next day, when his majesty enters the Great Hall, he was besieged by dozens of nobles holding bowls, boxes, even carts of cherries, and insisting to talk to the King. The King gets very angry with the lot, “you fools!” he shouts, “I did not give the gold to the farmer for the cherries, I gave it to him for the dedication that he gave to the tree. For his dedication to finish the task that he started 35 years ago.”
Key points to remember the story
- A newly crowned king is traveling through the land
- He comes across a farmer planning a rare Japanese cherry tree
- The king, recognizing the tree, asks the farmer if he knows what he is planting
- The king invites the farmer to bring the first produce to him so they can share Both know this most likely will not happen as the tree will take 35 years to bear first fruit
- Life goes on
- The tree bears its first fruit and the farmer sets out to share them with his king
- The chamberlain does not believe the farmer that the king has promised to see him
- The king invites the farmer into the great hall and shares the cherries with him
- The nobility is all surprised
- When the farmer is leaving the king fills the bowl that was full of cherries with gold
- The next day every nobleman brings cherries to share with the king
- The king gets angry and sends them all
Potential questions for the client.
- What aspect of the story did you like the most?
- What qualities do you believe the farmer needed to be able to plant such a tree?
- What do you think of the last statement made by the king?
“I did not give the gold to the farmer for the cherries, I gave it him for the dedication that he gave to the tree. For his dedication to finish the task that he started 35 years ago.”