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The Field
by [?]

The field was small, and full of stones, and barren. Although it lay beside a much travelled road and not far from the town, no one had noticed it except to say how useless it was.

“It would take a great deal of time to cultivate that field,” the farmer said as he drove by in the fall with his team full of ripe vegetables and fruit for market. He had bought a farm that was ploughed and planted. There had been no stones for him to dig out and take away.

“That would be a fine field to play in,” said the children as they passed by on their way to school, “only it is too rough. It would hurt our feet.”

“If only something could be raised in the field,” said the people who had houses close by. “Then we should be sure of having food for the winter.”

But no one paid any further attention to the field.

There was a secret about it, though.

The field was alive. Deep down in its earth, under its thick clods and heavy stones, the field had a great wish to grow. And to grow, the field must be clean, so it called to Mother Nature for help. Mother Nature spoke to her winds about it.

“Four Winds,” she said, “will you sweep the field clean, and so help it to grow?”

The winds heard Mother Nature calling and they got out their four brooms and swept the field as clean as they could. But that was not enough. The field must be rich as well as clean before it could grow. So the field called once more to Mother Nature, and Mother Nature spoke to her trees.

“Trees of the roadside,” she said, “will you give your leaves to cover the field, and lose their beautiful colors, and become loam? The four winds have swept the field clean, but it must be rich before it can grow.”

The trees heard Mother Nature calling, and they gave all their leaves to the field. But that was not enough. The field must be dug, as well as enriched and cleaned, before it could grow.

So the field called a third time to Mother Nature, and Mother Nature spoke to her children, the earth worms.

“Earth Worms,” she said, “will you creep and dig underneath the field and turn up the earth in furrows? The four winds have swept the earth clean, and the trees have given their leaves to make it rich, but it must be dug before it can grow.”

Although the earth worms are very small, they heard Mother Nature calling. They crept down under the earth and began working together to dig the field. Wherever they found rich earth they threw it up to take the place of the fallow. But their work was not enough. The field must be planted, as well as dug and enriched and cleaned, before it could grow. So the field called again to Mother Nature, and Mother Nature spoke to her children in feathers and soft coats.

“Birds and Four-Footed Children in soft coats,” she said, “will you bring seeds and scatter them over the field? The four winds have swept it clean, and the trees have given their leaves to make it rich. The earth worms have dug the field, but it must be planted before it can grow.”

Then the birds brought all kinds of seeds in their feathers, and the squirrels and the chipmunks and the sheep and the cattle passing through brought seeds in their soft coats and scattered them over the field. But this was not enough. The field must be nourished as well as planted, and dug, and enriched, and cleaned before it could grow. So the field called again to Mother Nature, and Mother Nature spoke to the sky.

“Sky,” she said, “will you send rain and sun to the fields? The four winds have swept it clean, and the trees have given their leaves to make it rich. The earth worms have dug the field, and my children in feathers and soft coats have planted it, but it must be nourished before it can grow.”