The Blade of Grass in the Desert

A man travelled across a desert. All around him there was only sand, stones and rocks, the luminous blue sky, and above him the glowing hot sun. Halfway it so happened that he wanted to have a rest and he looked around for a suitable place. A little further away from the path he found an overhanging rock which could offer him shade for the duration of his rest.The man went to the spot. When he arrived, he saw something unusual. In the shade of this rock, there actually grew a blade of grass.

“Well, well, well, where do you come from?”, asked the man, and then laughed at himself: “In my loneliness, I’m already talking to the grass. It would be better if I were to investigate where the blade of grass comes from”. He pulled the little plant out of the sand and laid it carefully to the side. Then he dug deeper and deeper. Although he didn’t exactly hit a bubbling well, the earth here was truly somewhat damp. As the man continued on his way, he did not forget to place the blade of grass in the damp earth again. He built a small wall in front of it with a couple of stones to protect the plant from drying out through the hot desert wind. Then he went on his way.

On his way back he passed the spot again. Naturally he looked to see if his plant still lived. He was very happy: a proper little tuft of grass had grown out of the blade. The man dug a little deeper in the earth and pushed it in even damper earth. With a scarf, two poles and a pair of ties, which he had taken with him for the return journey, he improved the wind-protection for his plant.

Many years later, a friend of this man had to travel across the same desert. The man bade his friend: “Take a look and see what has become of my plant – whether it is still there!” The friend promised he would. When he returned from the journey he reported: “A small meadow has grown out of your blade of grass. Other travellers have discovered the spot. They have made the wall bigger and placed more poles with scarves there. Someone has dug a well there and covered it with a piece of leather. A beautiful fig tree is growing next to the well. A cricket chirps in its leaves.”

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