The Big Peach Tree

The days in this land are moderately hot and the nights cold. The land is largely parched except for water that wells up from the earth. The people live by carefully managing this water to grow food in biannual crop cycles. They are rugged men and women of largely cheerful expression who live each moment in glad thankfulness. Men and women who till the land with implements of iron. The children are the second generation born here. They learn of their ancestors as men and women of lands far and diverse, many forsaken by their families, some soldiers who fought other men but defeated in battle, captured and being carried to far away lands by savage people, who, against all odds, were able to free themselves in a heroic struggle filled with great tact and camaraderie.

The tools of iron these people used were proof of this fairy tale. Too intricate to have been natural in origin, these implements could not have, nevertheless been made in this town. Nobody that lived here knew how to make them, but some know of people from their ancestral lands that knew how to, they speak of fire hot enough to melt rock and molten iron which was forged into these convenient shapes.

It was the heat of mid day when the old and the young sat down under the peach tree to take a break from the toil of the harvest. It was Germane today that was being pestered to tell a story by the children. He looked up at this tree which he was very familiar with since he was young. Germane was one of the first to be born in this town. He proceeded to point at the horizon, and said "Do you see where the land ends kids?"

"Does the land end there?" said one of the kids.

"That place where the sky and the land meet? It's called the horizon isn't it?" Said another.

Some of the elders chuckled knowing very well what story it was that Germane was going to tell.

"It does not. But when I was a kid I used to think the land ends there. Mom used to tell me that there are vast cities and diverse peoples in far away lands beyond that line, but I was adamant."

One elder man chuckled a little harder.

"Nobody would listen to me. So I looked very hard into the distance and identified some landmarks like trees and mounds which I thought marked the end of the land. I told the people I would go on a journey to these places and show them that the land indeed did end there. All the elders around me laughed. Then Uncle Quill brought me over to this tree. This was the largest tree in here even then.He pointed to that tree in the distance. I still remember which one. That one over there. He then told me to climb this tree and look in that direction again. I climbed up and looked at it. And I could see land behind it. I climbed down and back up again to confirm it a few times."

"So the land doesn't end there." The kids said in a cacophony.

"Yes, it doesn't. I was devastated. I felt embarrassed. But Uncle Quill praised me for my willingness to speak my mind and make coherent arguments."

One of the elders then volunteered, still half chuckling, "So what do we learn from this story kids?"

"We see more by climbing higher." Said a kid with innocent enthusiasm.

The elder stopped chuckling for a moment, and then with a strong pleasant smile he said, "Exactly."

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--Credits: -> The names Germane and Quill were given by our beloved ironbat

Context Box

Chennai Anime Club Litpunch - November 2021. Prompt: The Big Peach Tree