[An Italian folk tale]
There was once a farmer who had a fine
olive orchard. He was very industrious,
and the farm always prospered under
his care. But he knew that his three
sons despised the farm work, and were
eager to make wealth fast, through adventure.
When the farmer was old, and felt that
his time had come to die, he called the
three sons to him and said, "My sons,
there is a pot of gold hidden in the olive
orchard. Dig for it, if you wish it."
The sons tried to get him to tell them
in what part of the orchard the gold was
hidden; but he would tell them nothing more.
After the farmer was dead, the sons
went to work to find the pot of gold; since
they did not know where the hiding-place
was, they agreed to begin in a line, at one
end of the orchard, and to dig until one of
them should find the money.
They dug until they had turned up the
soil from one end of the orchard to the
other, round the tree-roots and between
them. But no pot of gold was to be found.
It seemed as if some one must have stolen
it, or as if the farmer had been wandering
in his wits. The three sons were bitterly
disappointed to have all their work for
The next olive season, the olive trees in
the orchard bore more fruit than they had
ever given; the fine cultivating they had
had from the digging brought so much
fruit, and of so fine a quality, that when it
was sold it gave the sons a whole pot of gold!
And when they saw how much money
had come from the orchard, they suddenly
understood what the wise father had meant
when he said, "There is gold hidden in
the orchard; dig for it."