The tomato growers

Once there were two tomato growers. One was called James and the other one Gordon.

Gordon was very disappointed with his tomatoes. Every day, he would go to them and water them and check how much they had grown. Sadly, his tomatoes stayed pitifully small. He would twist them and squeeze them to feel if they were at least ripening a little bit, and accidentally dislodge one from the vine on occasion. It would drop to the ground and rot away.

Gordon felt something had to be done. So he purchased the best fertilizer he could find, with the right amount of potassium and all the other nutrients a tomato could wish for, and placed it in front of his tomatoes. He told them: “If you grow really really well, I will give you this fertilizer as a reward. This shall be your motivation.” It seemed to have no effect on the tomatoes. If anything, they were only growing at an even slower pace.

Gordon became even more dissatisfied with his tomatoes and started withholding water to see if that would convince the tomatoes to grow. But all that happened was that the tomato plants became infested with pests and he had to spray them with pesticides. (“Damn, that stuff is expensive,” Gordon grumbled.) It was too late. The tomato plants turned yellow and started dying. Gordon got very frustrated and kicked at the plants.
growing tomatoes
James, on the other hand, adored his tomatoes. He loved them! Every day, he went to them, and removed all those little sprouts from the armpits of the tomato plants and enjoyed that typical spicy tomato smell. That way, all the nutrition went to the little tomato fruits, not into making sprouts. He watered them every day, and made sure the quantity of water was just so.

He took care that they got the right amount of nice warm sunshine and on days without sunshine, he would provide artificial sunshine. He also gave them the right amount of fertilizer whenever they needed it. His tomatoes became famous. Everyone admired them. They were so beautiful, so healthy! His tomatoes seemed to be shining with joy. It was almost as if they loved James back and wanted to make him really really happy.

Gordon commented that life just is not fair and that there is nothing you can do about it and also that James had started growing his tomatoes a year earlier, hadn’t he, and that there were no pests at James’s location, and probably also a lot more sunshine. He knew it! Life ain’t fair! And he had never liked James much anyway.

lovely little tomatoJames was not aware of Gordon’s grumblings at all. He found more than enough joy in caring for his tomatoes.