The Story of the Little Seed

Before I visited my great grandparents’ hometown in Austria, my mom’s cousin shared with me a story my great grandmother told her as a little girl. She recounted the story from a childhood memory below:

“When I was six or seven… I would take my little red suitcase with my teddy and make the journey from our back porch across the driveway to the garage and climb the steps up to Grandma and Grandpa’s home apartment above the garage.
“I always slept on the green foam couch in the living room. But in the morning I would crawl into bed with grandma and ask to hear the story of the little seed. So grandma would tell me this story with her teeth still in the water glass on the bed stand. Her speech was a little thicker without her teeth in, and I do believe that the adventures of the little seed were different every time she told the story.” — Mary Jean (my mom’s cousin).


It was a sunny autumn day high in the mountains. White fluffy clouds were gliding across a blue sky. There sat an apple tree growing in a green pasture. One day the breeze pushed the branches of the little apple tree back and forth. It pushed the branches so hard that one little red apple was bumped by a branch. The little red apple found itself bouncing down a little hill until it bumped into a fence post and stopped. There sat the little red apple. And it waited.

Soon winter came to that mountain pasture. Snow piled high against that fence post and covered the little red apple. Winds howled; the little red apple was very cold. But the little red apple just waited. It knew spring would be coming soon.

One spring day, as the sun smiled warmly on the pasture high in the mountains, the snows began to melt all around the little red apple, and the little red apple peeked out to see the world. A gray fox saw the apple and picked it up to take home to her young babies. But when she put the little red apple in her mouth, one little apple seed fell out of its core and landed on the new green grass. And the little seed waited there.

A robin was looking for worms nearby and it saw the little seed sitting in the fresh green grass. It picked up the seed in its beak and flew back toward its nest. The little seed was flying high in the sky. The robin had just about reached its nest when it dropped the little seed. The little seed flew down from the sky and it landed in a little brook.

What a time for the little seed! It floated on top of the cool clear water. It floated past the mountain pasture. It floated down the mountainside. The little creek grew wider and faster. The little seed jumped over rocks, dropped over the edge of a waterfall, bounced up and out of water, and landed on the muddy bank of the stream. Here beside the valley stream the little seed waited.

Soon the little seed saw a yellow puppy come rushing by. It was silly and happy. It laughed and began to roll in the mud by the valley stream. This was how the muddy little seed got stuck in the fur of the yellow puppy. It rode on the back on the yellow puppy all the way back to the farmhouse. The yellow puppy stood near the front door of his farmhouse and began to shake off the water and mud from its back. It shook and shook. It shook so much that it shook the little seed right off its back.

The little seed roiled and rolled. It rolled down a little hillside. It rolled to a stop next to the farm’s pond where two swans were swimming. It landed next to a patch of yellow daffodils that were just beginning to bloom.

The little seed looked all around. It looked at the valley stream. It looked at the farmhouse. It looked at the swans floating in the pond. It looked at the yellow puppy. This time the little seed did not wait. The little seed knew it was home. It settled into the soft dirt and it began to grow.

It grew and grew. It grew into a big beautiful apple tree. In the spring it gave beautiful blossoms for all to see. It gave shade to the yellow puppy all summer long. In autumn it gave delicious red apples to everyone on the farm to eat. And every winter the big beautiful apple tree sat in the snow next to the frozen pond and waited. It knew spring would be coming again soon.


This fable is first referenced in Reflections from Feistritz an der Gail.

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