Thanksgiving @

The Ears of Wheat
(A classic tale from the Brothers Grimm)

Ages upon ages ago, when angels used to wander on earth, the ground was more fruitful than it is now. Then the stalks of wheat bore not fifty or sixty fold, but four times five hundred fold. They grew from the bottom to the top of the stalk. But the men of the earth forgot that this blessing came from God, and they became idle and selfish.

One day, as a woman walked through a wheat-field, her little child fell into a puddle and soiled her frock. The mother tore off a handful of the wheat-ears and cleaned the child's dress with them.

Just then an angel passed by and saw her. Wrathfully he spoke:

"Wasteful woman, no longer shall the wheat-stalks produce ears. You mortals do not deserve the gifts of Heaven!"

Some peasants who were gathering wheat in the fields heard this. Falling on their knees, they prayed and begged the angel to leave the wheat alone, not only for their sakes, but also for the little birds who would otherwise die of hunger.

The angel took pity and granted a part of the prayer. And from that day to this, the ears of wheat have grown as they do now.

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