The Two Plants: On the Proximity of Dangerous Elements

Once upon a time there was a village with two very unique plants. One plant bore fruit, and the other became thorny and poisonous and grew very quickly, but the two were indistinguishable as sprouts. Every day the villagers would go out and find sprouts. Plants that were fruit bearing were guarded with a barrier, while the bramble sprouts were destroyed to prevent overgrowth.

The villagers had heard stories of brambles that had grown large and poisonous, causing the thorn’s removal to be dangerous. In these times, the fruit of the plant would be combined with the sprout of the bramble to negate the poison. It took a lot of fruit to accomplish this for even one bramble, and it would be very difficult to destroy large brambles and feed the village at the same time.

The village spent many generations tending to and learning about the plants. It was determined that the true harm of the poison bramble was that it resided within the village itself. A technique was discovered for forcing the migration of the sprouts until the bramble was no longer found within the village at all. The fruited plants were gathered into a garden inside the village. The village was very prosperous during this time, and within a few generations the danger had been forgotten. The supply of fruit from the plant became predictable, and everyone was happy.

One day a young boy of the village unknowingly ventured toward the patch of poison brambles that had grown up in the intervening generations. He was awestruck, having no knowledge of what he was seeing, and moved toward it. The boy was touched by the poison, and his thoughts were turned into a dark swirling cloud. He could no longer be trusted, and the village became afraid upon learning of his fate. It was soon discovered that the poison bramble had grown large in all directions in the intervening generations, and now creeped back toward the village it had once been removed from.

It took many years, but a plan was devised. The bravest of the village ventured out into the poison bramble forest to gather sprouts. The village dedicated a portion of their plants to mix with the sprouts. The villagers were hungry from the sacrifice of their crops, and tired from work they had become unaccustomed to. Some became poisoned by the brambles. The prosperity the village had known faded into a distant memory. Cutting a path through the overgrowth and retrieving bramble sprouts required the villagers’ full attention for many generations.

The brambles were eventually cut back to the roots, and the roots that had grown so deep and so strong away from the village were disjoined into a manageable cluster of sprouts. These sprouts were migrated back into the village, just as they had been driven out long ago, so the brambles would no longer threaten the villagers. The gardens were expanded to intermingle the plants, as it once had been. The fruit grew strong, and the village was prosperous once again.