Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

A Leaf from Heaven

from wikipediaA Leaf from Heaven

Once an angel dropped a leaf from heaven and it fell to the Earth. There is sprouted and grew into a plant. All the other plants nearby did not like this plant because they did not know what it was. They said it wouldn’t be able to be identified.

A little girl once plucked a leaf from this plant and put it between the pages of her Bible, there it stayed and remained green even after much time. The girl was buried with this Bible not long after.

A farmer came along and chopped the plant down. He figured it would burn as well as any other. After a time, a king decided that he wanted the plant and lamented the fact that it was no longer there. He had a fence erected around where the plant once was and was unhappy about the whole thing, but he had always been unhappy.

Observations

There is good reason to be suspicious of unfamiliar plants, and not just because some of them might be ents. A plant that is unfamiliar to you could be poisonous and plants play just as dirty as some animals when it comes to appearances. A plant may look like a nice friendly plant, but in reality, it could be mimicking a plant that is nice and friendly, while it’s poisonous. Some plants are good, while some plants are bad.

Themes

The theme is not that this plant is some holy plant and should be revered. The theme of this story is that everyone was unfamiliar and ignorant as to what this plant was and they acted accordingly. The other plants shunned the new plant because it was different. It could not be identified along with any of them. The shepherd gathered up the plant to burn just as he would have done for any other plant he came across.

We can act strangely if we don’t know what something is. Should we touch that thing? Can that thing understand us? That thing isn’t like us, let’s avoid it. Is that thing alive? We’ll all stand around at a safe distance whispering about something if we don’t know what it is. Our curiosity gets the best of us and we’ll creep closer, but it’s going to take us a while to trust whatever the thing is.

At the same time, we may not appreciate something and treat it just the same as we would treat another thing, if we don’t know what that thing is. Confused enough? For example, let’s say you go to a yard sale and you find a candy dish, little known to you, this candy dish was made by some famous German glass maker and is worth about five-hundred dollars. You don’t know that though. You take it home and think, “I’m going to put that crappy leftover Halloween candy in here for those brats that come to visit my house.” Well, you do that. The candy dish gets all sticky. One of the brats knocks it off of the table. You sweep it up and throw it in the trash, but this whole time you could have had five-hundred dollars, but you don’t because you thought it was an ordinary candy dish.

Overall

Just because something is unfamiliar does not mean it is without worth.

Weigh In

Touch the strange plant, yeah or nay?

Should people be punished for their ignorance of an object?

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