Story No. 105 – The stranger in the garden

Once upon a time there was a man who had a big garden. He had planted many fruit trees and

cared for them till they bear fruits. Now he wanted to pick up the fruits and sell them to make

money for his family.

One fine day while picking fruits with his son, the man saw a stranger

sitting on the branch of a tree and picking the fruits. This man become

angry and shouted, “Hey you! What are you doing on my tree? Aren’t you

ashamed of stealing fruits in the day time?” The stranger on the branch

just looked at the gardener but didn’t reply, and continued picking the

fruits. The gardener was very angry and shouted again, “For a whole year

I have taken care of these trees, you have no right to take the fruits without

my permission so come down at once!”

The stranger on the tree answered, “Why should I come down? This is the garden of God and I am

the servant of God, so I have the right to pick these fruits and you should not interfere between the

work of God and his servant.” The gardener was very surprised at this answer and thought of a

plan. He called his son and said, “go bring a rope and get this man down from the tree.” His son

brought the rope and the gardener ordered him to tie the stranger to the tree. The gardener then

took a stick and started to beat the stranger. The stranger began to scream. “Why are you beating

me? You have no right to do this.”

The gardener paid no attention and continued beating him. The stranger screamed, “Don’t you

fear God, you are beating an innocent man? The gardener answered, “Why should I fear? This

wood in my hand belongs to God and I am too the servant of God, so I have nothing to fear, and

you shouldn’t interfere with the work of God and his servant.” The stranger hesitated and then

spoke, “Wait don’t beat me, I am sorry for taking the fruits. This is your garden and I should seek

your permission before taking the fruits. So, please forgive and set me free.”

The gardener smiled and said, “Since you have now realized your mistake, I will forgive you but

remember that God has given all his servants brains so every person’s deeds are in his own hands.”

Then the gardener untied him and let him go free.


“Who did this?” asked my teacher. Thirty children tried to think about

not only what they had done, but also what our teacher may have found

out. “Who did this?” asked my teacher once more. She wasn’t really

asking, she was demanding an answer. She seldom became angry, but

she was this time. She held up a piece of broken glass and asked, “Who

broke this window?”

“Oh, oh,” I thought. I was the one who broke the window. I had not done it intentionally. It was

caused by an errant throw of a baseball. I was working on my knuckleball. It needed more work.

Why did it have to be me? It wasn’t really my fault. If I admitted guilt, I would be in a lot of trouble.

How would I be able to pay for a big window like that? I didn’t even get an allowance. “My father is

going to have a fit,” I thought. I didn’t want to raise my hand, but some force much stronger than I

was pulled it skyward. I told the truth. “I did it.” I said no more. It was hard enough saying what I


My teacher went to one of our library shelves

and took down a book. She then began walking “Do not be like persons on whom advice has no

effect; they require punishments to improve them.

towards my desk. I had never seen my teacher

A sensible man acquires guidance through

to strike a student, but I feared she was going to

advice, while brutes and beasts always improve

start with me and she was going to use a book

through punishments.” Imam Ali (AS)

for the swatting.

“I know how you like birds,” she said as she stood looking down at my guilt-ridden face. “Here is

that field guide about birds that you are constantly checking out. It is yours. It’s time we got a new

one for the school anyway. The book is yours and you will not be punished as long as you

remember that I am not rewarding you for your misdeed, I am rewarding you for your



Years ago a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired

hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful

storms that raged across the ocean, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops. As the farmer

interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals.

Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer. “Are you a good

farmhand?” the farmer asked him. “Well, I can sleep when the wind blows,” answered the man.

Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him. The little man worked

well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man’s work.

Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed

a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand’s sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and

yelled, “Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!”

The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly,

“No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows.”

Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire

him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for

the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the

haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were

in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors

were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow


The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep

while the wind blew.

When you’re prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically, you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep

when the wind blows through your life? The hired hand in the story was able to sleep because he

had secured the farm against the storm.

We with faith secure ourselves against the storms of life by putting our trust in the

God, Our Prophet (SAW) and his Ahlul Byat (AS), We don’t need to understand, and

we just need to hold His hand to be secure in the midst of the storms.