In the port of Mervill, where all the goods, clothes, jewelries, spices, meats, and flowers arrive from the four corners of the earth. Huge galleons embarked, positioned according to what they carry in its bulky cargo boxes.
Busy seafarers in every sight, tying down their ships on the port’s bollards, dropping down the anchors, lowering the sails, and tightening the ropes which were bigger than their arms.
Wives waiting for their husbands’ return, waving their handkerchiefs as they see their lover. Children jumped as they saw their fathers, hugged them tightly and received the gifts what their fathers promised.
The noise of trade was in the air again. Persuading merchants selling what they have brought from the other side of the world, attracting the villagers’ curiosity.
And there was a merchant named Clewis who intrigued most of the villagers. He presented his seeds from the land of Golflow with great drama and persuasion. Selling it worth three white cows, three black roosters and three golden corns. It was first time in the trading history in the port of Mervill that the value of a seed to be proportional to of odd values.
And of course no one took him seriously.
“What an odd worth for a single seed?!” a villager shouted from the corner of the market. He was eating a corn and stood leaning on his fat white cow and the other two at his back. Three black roosters in a cage hung on the neck of his cow.
“A coincidence, indeed!” Clewis exclaimed and ran towards the villager.
“Jolly good my friend. You’re good” the villager laughed, ignored Clewis and walked away.
“No, this is no joke. You are destined to have this seed.” The merchant insisted.
“This is funny.”
“This is serious, Luke”
“How did you know my name?” the villager was perplexed.
“You are destined to have this seed. I have travelled the four corners of the earth looking for you.”
“Why? How did you know?”
“I don’t know how to explain it, no one can. It was written by the oracle of Golflow.”
“Very well then, I don’t know how to believe you. It is a crazy trade”
“There is no need to trade, Luke. Here, take it.”
“Oh I thought.. Jolly good, thanks!” Luke grabbed the seed.
“You are welcome. Listen closely to what I will say”
“All right, what of it?” Luke asked while slipping the seed on his safe pocket.
“Put me beneath on a fertile soil, where the sun shines from east, where the wind blows from west and don’t ever surrender when in toil.” Clewis spoke like a great poet.
“That’s all?” Luke was not contented but still he accepted it since he was in a hurry.
“Yes, that’s all. Be reminded this is not an ordinary seed.” Clewis trembled and grasped Luke’s hands.
“What’s the matter?” Luke was concerned.
“Go now and don’t ever forget my advice.” Clewis held the villager’s shoulders.
“I wouldn’t. Thank you.” Luke assured and waved a good bye to the merchant.
Luke hurried into his little house being excited to plant the seed. First he secured the cows and the roosters inside the manger and put his three golden corns on the table.
He went into his backyard and started to plow the soil.
Then his best friend – Matthew came, who was a very curious man.
“What are you doing brother?” Mattew asked.
“I’m plowing the soil for I will plant something.” Luke said joyfully.
“What is it?”
“An extraordinary seed.”
“Woah, where did you get that?”
“From a crazy merchant.” Luke laughed while striking the hard soil with all his might.
“Interesting. Then what makes it extraordinary?
“That we will know if it was fully grown, is it?”
“Oh, right. Good luck brother.” Matthew cheered and went on his way to the cornfields.
It was the season of summer.
Then Luke planted the seed beneath the fertile soil, where the sun rises from east and where the wind blows from west.
Luke never thought that planting a single seed would be harder than planting a crop.
He rhythmically waters the area where he planted the seed before the sun shines and punctually plows the soil whenever he feels the soil rigid.
Winter is coming, yet not a nudge of progress peeped.
Luke grew restless, he stopped watering and plowing the soil where the sleeping seed laid beneath.
Matthew, his ever curious friend came to visit to check the plant.
“How was it? May I take a look at your plant Luke? Matthew asked, never waited for a response and ran immediately to the backyard.
“Alright, go on.” Luke never cared.
Matthew was shocked, he didn’t see any seedling on the dry dying soil and it was already invaded by wild grasses.
“What happened here brother?”
“I give up. It was a dead seed. I was fooled by that crazy merchant”
“You must have patience.”
“I don’t have it.”
“Would you mind if I take the seed with me? I’ll grow it myself.”
“I care no more for that damned seed.”
Then Matthew grabbed a shovel and dug where the seed resides. He saw the seed, not a crack or a scratch was visible. He took it and put it on his pocket. Luke never cared.
“Thank you, Luke!”
Matthew hurried into his home. He prepared his finest pot he just finished molding, put some fertile soil filling the pot half, buried the seed and placed it outside his house where the sunsets to west and where the wind blows from south. Before he slept, he watered it.
Winter came the same night.
The sun’s rays peeked in the windows of Matthew, touching his face like it was trying to wake him up and it did. As Matthew opened his eyes, the seed was his first thought, and jumped from his bed.
It was the first day of winter season.
He saw the pot, already filled with snow. He ran, worried, dug out the snows and brought the pot inside his house.
“Oh! Heavens! Is my seed dead?” Matthew cried out. But he was optimistic somehow he felt illusionistic. He admitted it, that he may be mad, a mad gardener.
Never a modicum of discouragement did enter his senses, he was full of hopes, he even sings while he waters it and reading stories to it by night. He did it, in all the days of the winter season, not a day he skipped.
Luke and his neighbors taught Matthew had lost touch with reality. Matthew didn’t care and continued his daily routine.
Spring is coming.
The night before the season of spring, the seed cracked its shell; the leaves burst first then next the strong stems and lastly a flower sprouted.
Matthew slept, never knew he would be seeing the flower of his hard labor.
First morning of the spring, the snow began to melt, ices dropped from the trees, the soil was wet, the grasses sprouted anywhere, little by little the hills became green again, rivers and lakes came back to life from a long season of sleep, and the pigs, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, horses, cows, chickens, and birds welcomed the entrance of spring.
Farmers and villagers were in joy, seeing the sun shine again, it was the rays of hope and a reminder that they must be thankful, surviving the winter season.
And there was a man, who was the happiest of all at that moment.
Matthew jumped everywhere, he hopped, cheered, shouted his heart out and his eyes were teary of so much joy. The plant stood a foot high, it had sturdy stems, its leaves turn into gold when sun rays hits it and its flower was like a sun with eight rays.
So proud of his plant, Matthew announced his success to every neighbor he could meet on the road and invited them to take a look at it.
Villagers were curious, if it was true, the plant Matthew was talking about. Around the Matthew’s little house the crowd gathered, whispering at each other, murmuring and some were really excited hoping that they were not being fooled by a mad hopeless lunatic illusionistic gardener.
Matthew burst out from his door, like a magician presenting his greatest trick, he lifted the pot where the plant stood and presented it to the crowd.
The villagers were in awe, they never saw a plant like it, and it is impeccably beautiful. They were speechless for a minute, processing what they are seeing now. Until someone shouted from the crowd, it broke the silence.
“That is my seed and that is my plant!”
The villagers divided themselves, giving space or moving away from the person for Matthew to see him.
Matthew sighed; he knew it was his good friend – Luke.
“Luke, a little correction, “Was your seed only”” Matthew sounded a-matter-of-factly.
“No, without me having that seed, there would be no plant! Come on friend, give it back to me.”
“Sorry my friend, it was me who became a mad man in the eyes of the people, taking great care of the seed that you gave up and I successfully grew it to a wonderful flower
The villagers became divided as they chose their side whom to support. Was it Luke or Matthew to own the plant?
In a blink of an eye, it became a cold war. The crowd was arguing at each other, spitting at each other’s faces, and some didn’t controlled their anger and punched who go against them.
“Matthew should own that plant! He was the one who cultivated it!”
“No! Luke should own it. Without him having the seed, there would be no plant!”
“He gave that seed to Matthew because he gave up! Matthew is the rightful owner!”
“We are farmers too! I gave you a seed to plant it and I will harvest that plant because I am still the owner of it! Get it?!”
And all the arguments from the two sides were just circulating, it seemed endless.
The friendship between Matthew and Luke may have ended just because of a wonderful plant, until someone familiar pacified the chaos.
“Lo and behold! Clewis the merchant is here!” Clewis stood on a barrel where all of the crowd can see him. He was like a silhouette of a magician, wearing a top hat, a snappy black suit, a pair of pointy shoes and a walking cane he held by his right hand. At his back was the setting sun, which seemed tired of watching the pandemonium and decided to take a nap.
Luke felt a relief, he knew the crazy merchant would take his side and he smirked at Matthew.
“Oh, Clewis my old friend”
“Hello, Luke.” Clewis smiled and took a glance at Matthew.
“Who are you Mister?” Matthew asked.
The crowd was shocked that Matthew never recognized the famous merchant. Clewis didn’t care and answered to Matthew directly.
“I am Clewis, a merchant from the land of Golflow” he took his hat off and bowed politely towards the young man.
“Jolly good Sir. I am Matthew a friend Luke’s.” answered a polite bow.
“Can you help with the decision Clewis?” asked Luke.
“I may Luke but first I shall seek the advice of the Mighty Lion.” said Clewis as he took a horn from his top hat.
“Advice from the Mighty who?” Matthew and Luke asked at the same time.
“You will see.” Clewis blowed the horn but not a sound was heard.
“Did it work? I can’t hear anything.” Matthew questioned
“It didn’t, I think.” Luke answered
“A mortal’s ears is not worthy to hear the sound of this horn, it is only intended to call the Mighty Lion.” Clewis explained in a poetic tone.
The night became day for a second as the Mighty Lion arrived. The unworthy eyes to see the Mighty Lion would shut and the soul would be put into a temporary death.
Matthew, Luke and Clewis were the worthy ones.
“Clewis the merchant you seek my presence? What of it, my friend?” The wise with a few words asked.
“Oh, Master the Mighty Lion. I called upon your presence to ask for your intervention to this situation causing a chaos in this peaceful village and it may break the precious friendship of these two young men.”
“I see, but I can’t decide. This flower must decide for her fate.”
“But how? It doesn’t have a mouth to speak, a pair of eyes to see, a pair of ears to hear and a mind to decide?”
“Then I’ll grant her that” the Mighty Lion stomped and the flower had a mouth, a pair of eyes, a pair of ears and a mind.
“Thank you, Mighty Lion.” The Flower spoke, she had a sweet voice.
“Not yet, I should give you a name first.”
The flower waited for her name, all fell in silent as they waited for the decision of the Mighty Lion.
The Mighty Lion stomped, it was the mark that he already have decided. The two young men almost forgot that they had a problem about the flower they were waiting to get its own name.
“Your name shall be, Beufree. And now decide for your fate.” Mighty Lion said and ran into the mid air as the sky opened its gates of what they dreamt to be a paradise.
“Thank you, Mighty Lion.” Said Beufree
“Now Beufree, you may now decide your rightful owner but first let me cast a contract spell.” Clewis said while he was transforming his walking cane into a magic wand. Chanting some words no one knew it existed and waving his wand into the crowd who were temporarily dead.
“After you state your choice Beufree, it is irrevocable until eternity. Think deeply of your choice.” Clewis reminded.
“I already have.” Beufree smiled, she knew it will be a decision for the better.
After hearing Beufree’s choice, all was well again between Matthew and Luke and they lived their lives harmoniously ’til the end of their days.