The Apple Dying for Life

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There were apple trees in that garden. Greened out sublimely, they offered juicy apples to people. Just one bunch of apples lied snug in the shadow of the other trees, sallow, as hard as stone. 

These apples were sour by being born on an infamous tree which underfed them. With longing eyes in their pale, hardened face, they saw apples on the other trees almost bursting by pride and satisfaction as they hanged around calmly. As to them, they were always fluttering in their pain and sorrow. But that was their fate, and they had already accepted it.

But not quite everyone. 

One day Rapple, who was bullied Rapple because his face was red by the shame he felt about himself, and about not being baptised; Rattle started to flutter with great sheer, so irresponsibly that the others were scared.

’Are you crazy?’ – shouted Shy Apple. ’This is the only advantage of our lives, that because we never mellow, we can’t fall down and splash to death!’ And she looked into the darkness below, which was separated from them by the thick of the leaves and limbs.

The others agreed, but Rapple continued the risky business, and shouted in a frenzy of despair: ’This is the very biggest curse of all! The biggest curse of all the sky has put on us!’

They were shocked by these words, but they were forbearing to that angry young apple. The Big Apple sighed and prayed to the sky: ’Forgive him for he doesn’t know what storms and worms he’ll have to stick in the future with Your help!’ 

Then Rapple stopped and looked daggers at Big Apple. ’For what?! You’ve raised me in the belief that once people will come and take me! I’ve dreamed about girls whom I help to get healthier! Don’t laugh!’ – said Rapple to the laughing young apples. ’You are fooled too! You will stay on that ugly tree until you shrink and fall off dead to the pleasure of the ants!’

The little apples looked at the elders hesitating. The Big Apple wanted to give a good thrashing to that youngster praying an ice storm on his head, but in the end he couldn’t argue, so he turned away to catch a little sunshine leaking amongst the healthy trees. ’It’s our fate. Live with it’ – muttered the Big Apple.

’I want at least to get into a basket amongst the rotten apples, that would be more a life than that!’ – shouted Rapple. ’I rather die than living on our tree!’ 

But nobody listened anymore. They continued to flutter carefully in their pain and sorrow.

Rapple, alone, froze in despair. And suddenly, as from the sky, he was given a stroke of energy. Roused, he started to flutter with all its strenght. ’I want to fall down! I want to fall down!’ - he screamed.

But just couldn’t drop off.

’That won’t help, little one!’ - sounded a deep voice, that just Rapple could hear. ’That’s not the way to die!’

Rapple lost his stamina and looked toward the familiar voice: it was a big, almost putrescent apple. ’Ah, it’s you, Overripe!’ – sighed Rapple. ’Don’t try to preach me, I’ve already got the lesson as you might’ve heard.’

’I don’t preach; I teach’ – answered Overripe, and when Rapple breathed in the air to flutter again, he interrupted with his gentle voice. ’Please don’t move; you are perfectly shielding me when you don’t move, so my haters on your tree can’t bully me for my wounds.’

Rapple picked up on his words. ’What?! We’re not on the same trees? But.. then how...’ 

’How can I be a wash-out?’ – finished Overripe with a smile. While Rapple flushed, Overripe continued: ’Well, if you’re surprised by that not everything is greener on the other side, then you might need a bit more teaching than you’ve got.’ – ’So how it could be?’ – asked the little one eagerly. ’It is the way my life is meant to be’ – answered Overripe.

Rattle was disappointed. ’I’ve already heard that one.’ – ’Sure’ – said Overripe, ’but how can you tell that yours is in its way too?’

'Well, I am what I am' - puckered up Rattle his lips.

'Are you?'

Rapple barely listened, but he liked to talk about itself. ’I worth nothing. Look at me: I’m pale, I’m hard as rock, I’m the most unripe of all the apples, the weakest, with no energy, no strength enough to die!’ 

’Are you?’ – interrupted Overripe thoughtfully. ’Around the inhabitants of that tree, everything is the opposite of what you believe. If you’re the weakest, then you’re the strongest.’

Rattle clung uncomprehendingly.

’Look at your tree’ – continued Overripe. ’You couldn’t tell if I was on that or not, because they are all the same. Look: there’s no difference between the leaves, the limbs.’ Rattle looked and saw that Overripe was right.

’But then why are we so weak here?! Must be the roots!’ – shouted Rattle with his eyes kindled. But Overripe answered with a laughter.

’Could be, my little fellow. But the ground is the same, the clouds are the same, the sky is the same. We get the same rain, we have the same worms, we have the same fate.’

’Then somebody cursed us! Gardeners spray us with diseases!’

’No, guileless gardeners don’t understand your problem either. They want to help, but in the end, they worsen your lunacy.’ And Overripe stared at Rapple with a mesmerizing look.

Rattle hid behind a defensive look. ’Foolness? Please, it’s enough to be cursed by the sky or what, don’t blame me for that! Lunacy... Even if I was poisoned, I still would know I’m out of my mind!?’

With that, Rattle turned over. But listened secretly to Overripe’s words, which were the following.

’I’ve been telling the truth to your people for ages, and nobody wants to hear it. Just flutter and mourn over your weakness. But I wonder’ – added in mysterious voice, ’why are you feeling much stronger just right now, while not doing a thing...?’

And a surprise hit Rattle as he noticed that he was given a flow of energy by the tree at that moment. With that Rattle went crazy again, turning on full to flutter again. 

’Noo, little man, noo’ – sighed Overripe. Rattle, tuckered out again, turned back to the old one. Rattle couldn’t even speak, so with questioning eyes signed the will to listen. Thus Overripe finally opened up his wisdom.

’There is a pipe that binds you with the tree. With that pipe the tree feeds you with food, thus when it comes clear, you are energized, you’re like any of us on the other trees.’ That suited Rattle. But Overripe continued. 

’But what if the pipe chokes? What if something always delays the stream of energy? Like a bent flower which cannot drink up the water?’ 

Rattle bowed. 

It mused and asked: ’But what is that...’

Then he followed Overripe’s look toward the others on their tree. Shy Apple was having the jumps while she was asleep, perhaps dreaming of the curse. The youngsters shivered behind the slowly shuttling, meditating Big apple. Rattle was astonished seeing all the fluttering apples’ pipe sagging over and over again. 

’Stop, you fools!’ shouted Rattle, surprising itself too. 

Big Apple, thrown off from his balance, turned to Rattle with despise. ’You better do you prayer too, or at that rate you shan’t get any dinner tonight!’ – ’But Big Apple, look at your...’ – ’Ah, Overripe! So it’s you again, instigating the youngsters with your crazy ideas?! Not doing a thing: that's easy for you on that tree! And nevertheless, you are rotten! Haha!’

The others were laughing, but Overripe showed himself without shame. He didn’t talk to Big Apple, just to Rapple. ’Don’t bother to try to convince them. Let them live’ – he advised to Big Apple's satisfaction; but added to it whispering: ’As they call it.’ 

But Rapple was too overwhelmed by the new discovery that he hadn’t understood entirely.

’Let them be fools?! But they are ruining their lives! And.. and they told me about the Cursed Tree and our sour fate, so they fooled me too! They’ve ruined my life!! They’ve ruined my life!!’ – and he fluttered with huge amplitude that now it was to be feared that he really falls off. Overripe tried to calm him in vain: ’You can’t die like that, you fool! The weaker you force yourself into, the stronger the tree holds you!’

The whole tree became a mess of shouting, crying, fluttering apples; until finally Shy Apple froze and stared at Overripe’s body. ’Look!!’ Nobody looked until she added: 

’A worm!’

Everybody stopped, except for Rattle who swung to and fro in a faint. On the top of Overripe’s body, there laid a big, fat worm, wanting to make its way inside. Everybody was shocked, except for Overripe. ’It has been crawling that way for days’ – he said. ’Maybe with its weight I drop off.’

But then the worm started to break through Overripe’s skin. The apples on the cursed tree started to wuther and howl by that shocker. Overripe smiled, but he pitied Rattle to be that exhausted that he was immune to even such a hideous noise. ’I’m sorry to die only because I haven’t saved that soul’ – said to himself, and closed his eyes to give himself entirely to the worm. 

But a familiar however deepened voice came through to the old one. 

’Why do you want to die?’

Overripe opened his eyes and saw Rattle in the same position, with closed eyes; but indeed it was Rattle who had spoken, and now spoke again. 

’Why I want to die too?’ And clear, green eyes opened in the matured face. 'Why we want to die?'

Overripe sighed proudly. ’You’re now bright and grown enough to know the very essence of our lives. The plainest truth, to be honest' - he added with a smile.

’Nowadays every apple wants to be eaten, or to be ornament on a table, not just on your tree but in every tree in that garden. Wanting to be big, juicy, shiny, they turn green by envy, and they seem to forget that the real purpose of their looking is to pass the seed to the ground, instead of merely spoiling the eyes and mouths of the humans. We seem to forget about our fate, while we are always talking about it. Why do I not have fear of this fat worm? Because if it’s my fate to rot, then be it; and look at it, it’s very close to turn from worm to butterfly. And that’s a fine reason to rot.’

Overripe flickered by the entering worm. He fastened its breath, but deepened his voice. ’So listen to me carefully. You want to die because it’s your purpose. If you let yourself to be given over to your fate, to reunite with the tree, than you’ll be flooded by bravery and unmoving willing to fulfill your destiny.’

Overripe couldn’t continue, because the worm has reached his innermost flesh. But it stopped crunching, so he could respire a bit. Rattle was looking at his master gratefully, respectful. But something came into his mind.

’Overripe, I have no name yet.’

’Ah’ – sighed the old one wearily, ’on our tree we have long names like the Elders. My real name is The Apple Overripe by Wisdom.' He closed his eyes. 'Thus I name you...’

Overripe's pipe crackled.

’The Apple Dying for Life’ – gasped out Overripe with his last breath, and he suddenly fell down, sticking in the thick of the leaves and limbs, never reaching the ground. 

A butterfly ascended from where he fell.

’The Apple Dying for Life’ – repeated Rapple, and closed his eyes in ethereal calmness. Solitude surrounded him firmly but tenderly, locking out all the clatter and clutter of the others. 

A few moments later, the pipe gave way to the fully mellow apple to leave.

He dove without fear.

He died without fear.

--

Time passed by in the garden, autumn came and stole everything from the trees. With spring life spouted again, and the forever lasting circle continued. 

Years passed and nothing extraordinary happened in the garden: the trees always greened out sublimely, offering juicy apples to the people.

Except for one thing. The gossip of the cursed tree was drown out by the gossip of the "Eternal Tree", which had been growing just aside the cursed tree with such vigour, agility and confidence, that every apple started to whisper about its come of noble strain, and that it must had been growing straight to heaven. Some say the sire must’ve been Overripe, who now was respectfully called: ’The Apple Overripe by Wisdom’.

Be that as it may, the Eternal Tree grew without dealing with the gossips. Its goal was to tower above the cursed tree, and with drinking in the clean sunshine, outstretch its arms to give birth to life, again.

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