Once there were two neighbours, Jack and Bob, each of whom had planted a peach tree. Both decided that they were going to sell their peaches at the local market once they were old enough to bear fruit.
The young trees took root and grew. After a couple of years they began to give signs of growing fruit. Each of the trees grew a couple of small peaches giving Jack and Bob hope that the following year the trees would bear fruit.
The trees, although still young, had grown many branches and were becoming quite tall. That winter, Jack went out with a saw and pruning shears. He cut off some of the branches and pruned others right back. Bob laughed at him. “What are you doing? Your tree looks terrible! How much fruit do you think your tree will bear like that? The more branches and the bigger your tree, the more space you have to grow fruit.”
Later that year each tree grew a similar amount of fruit. “You’re lucky your tree gave you anything the way you hacked it away!” said Bob
The following Winter Jack went out with his saw and pruning shears once again. “Didn’t you learn your lesson last time, Jack?” said Bob, “I should report you for tree abuse.” Jack went about his business and cut back his tree, despite Bob’s heckling.
That year Bob’s tree grew a lot of fruit, but much of it had to be thrown away. The good fruit was slim pickings and was hard to get to up in the branches. Jack’s tree produced big, wholesome fruit which could all be used, and to top it all, was easy to pick. He didn’t even need a ladder. Bob put this down to luck and knew that the following year his tree would produce better.
Again, winter came around, and so did Jack’s saw and shears. Despite what had happened the previous year, Bob was still on Jack’s case. “Wow! You really are savage. You obviously don’t care about your tree – hacking away at it like that.” And again, Jack just went about his business.
That year Bob’s tree towered high with many branches, and yet it grew little more than sour pips. Even the birds wouldn’t eat the sour excuse for fruit. Jack’s tree was full and green. It had fruit the size of soccer balls hanging at every angle. The peaches were the talk of the market and people vied to buy the sweet treasures.
Bob got angry and put it down to having bought a dud tree. There he left it to grow this way and that and it never produced fruit again. Eventually it withered and died.
Jack’s tree flourished for many more years. Each year Jack would go through his routine of cutting and pruning and each year his tree would bear remarkable fruit. He used the pips of some of his fruit to plant more trees, and they too flourished under his care.
A little bit of work and cutting back of branches, regardless of Bob’s protests, turned Jack’s tree into a healthy, happy, fruitful wonder. Even though it may have seemed savage and hurt at times, it turned out to be the golden, fruit bearing ticket.