Simple Simon And The Farmer (Part 3)
Simple Simon is on his way to the market. He wants to buy some flowers for his mother. He thinks that his mother works too hard and deserves some nice, pretty flowers to cheer her up.
As he is walking along the narrow dirt road, he whistles cheerfully. He thinks about what type of flowers his mother might like. He likes daisies and lilies. Simple Simon thinks that his mother might like them too.
Just then, Simple Simon comes to a farm. The farm is quite near the road, and so Simple Simon can see many things on it. He sees the chicken clucking and pecking on the ground. He sees the ducks swimming in the small pond and the pigs grunting in their pen. The two horses are grazing in the field. There is smoke coming out of the chimney which means the farmer’s wife must be busy cooking in the kitchen.
Simple Simon also sees the farmer’s garden. The garden is surrounded by a low wooden fence. There are lots of vegetables such as turnips, cabbages, peas, tomatoes and so on. Then, in a corner of the garden, Simple Simon sees flowers. Lots of flowers, roses, sunflowers, and oh joy! He sees daisies and lilies!
Now, let’s remember that this is Simple Simon. There are reasons why people call him that. One being, that he thinks simply and sometimes innocently.
He sees flowers, he likes them. Plus, the flowers are exactly what he wants to get for his dear mother.
He thinks, “Oh, I don’t have to walk so far to the market to get flowers for mother! I can just get them here!”
Simple Simon claps his hands in delight. He walks towards the garden and ooh’s and ahhh’s over the beautiful flowers.
And then, he happily jumps over the fence and into the farmer’s colorful garden.
The hapless lad starts to pick the daisies. The white blooms are so pretty that he wants to pick them all. He exclaims over them in delight.
Just as Simple Simon has managed to pick a handful of the lovely daisies, he suddenly hears an enraged voice behind him.
“Hey! What are you doing, you thief? Are you stealing my flowers?”
Startled, Simple Simon turns around. It is the farmer and he has caught Simple Simon picking his precious, pretty flowers.
The farmer has been working in the field and is holding a pitchfork in his hand. He looks quite hot and bothered. His broad face is red and sweaty. There are dirt and grass clinging to his hair and clothes.
Simple Simon thinks he looks like a big, angry scarecrow!
Now, the farmer is usually a nice and generous man. But the farmer is also the type who can’t ever speak quietly. He almost always shouts his words. He is a little bit deaf, and so he thinks that everyone else is too. As a result, he sometimes can come across as very frightening to the simple-minded, such as Simple Simon.
Right then, the farmer is understandably upset that someone is going through his garden without permission.
The farmer points his pitchfork towards Simple Simon and bellows, “You! I know you! You’re that one they call the simple lad, aren’t you? I say, what are you doing in my garden, boy? Are you stealing? Speak up, I say!”
By this time, Simple Simon has become very frightened. He trembles in his shoes and his knobbly knees knock together. He clutches the bunch of daisies in his hands and opens his mouth. Then he shuts his mouth. He gaps for a while at the farmer. His eyes widen in distress.
Then in a sudden fit of weakness, he sits down hard, right on top of a bunch of roses.
“Ayeee!!” He shouts in pain. Dear me, the roses’ thorns have pricked his bonny behind.
He springs up in pain and starts to hop around, while twisting his rather long neck to peer down at his behind. He rubs his rear with both hands, managing to crush the daisies on his rear end in the process.
“Oh no!” He wails, “I have crushed mother’s flowers!”
“Mother’s flowers! Those are my flowers, you simpleton!” The farmer shouts.
“Oh no, these are mother’s flowers. I was picking them for her!” And Simple Simon burst out crying. Big, fat tears roll down his cheeks and he clutches the destroyed daisies to his chest.
Admittedly, he cuts quite the tragic figure standing there lamenting and holding the stems.
The farmer shifts uneasily from foot to foot. He never likes to see anyone crying, even grown men. He scratches his head, he hee-haws, he looks at the sky.
Then he stammers, “Well…now then…eh..”
Simple Simon continues to wail in despair. The farmer thinks that the young simpleton must really love his mother to make such a racket over destroyed flowers. He begins to feel sorry for the young fool.
The farmer sighs, he clears his throat and fairly shouts, “Now look here, lad, there’s no need to make a fuss so. Tell you what, I’ll let you have the flowers for free.”
The addressed lad cries all the more and wails, ” B…b…but they’re destroyed!”
“Eh!” The farmer allows, “So they are. Well, there you go.”
And then Simple Simon bursts into a fresh bout of tears, if that’s possible since he hasn’t stop crying yet.
“Looky here, I tell you what,” the farmer tries to console him, “You can pick some more fresh flowers for your, eh, mother. How about that? Will you stop crying?!” He fairly shouts out the last question; shouts louder, that is.
The poor farmer is beginning to wonder if the crying simpleton is worth his time. He, the farmer, is after all a very busy man.
Simple Simon sniffles and asks, “Really? I can pick more flowers?”
The farmer looks up at the sky and prays for patience, “Aye, lad. Pick whatever you want. Go on. Just stop this embarrassing spectacle. Anyone would think there’s a hog getting slaughtered here,” he says not unkindly.
Just like a miracle, Simple Simon’s tears immediately dry up and his face breaks into a wide smile. He throws away the broken daisies, claps his hands in delight, does a few jigs, throws his arms around the farmer and hugs him while jumping excitedly.
The farmer is quite flustered. He flaps his arms around and almost stab someone, probably the fool boy, with the forgotten pitchfork. Bless him.
Before he can say anything however, Simple Simon has let go and is rushing towards the flowers. Soon, he is merrily picking up a fresh batch of daisies. While he is at it, he also helps himself to some lilies and even roses.
The farmer gaps at him. Sooner than he can think of something to say, perhaps in protest, however, Simple Simon has finished picking his flowers. There in his clutches, is a huge bunch of flowers made of daisies, lilies and roses. They look quite fetching. The farmer is beginning to regret being so generous.
“Oh sir, mister farmer, sir! These are so beautiful! Mother will be so happy! Thank you, sir!” Simple Simon gushes. At least he still remembers his manners.
“And, can I tell her that I picked the flowers from your garden?” Simple Simon asks hopefully.
Simple Simon’s lips begin to tremble. The farmer hastily says, ” If course, lad, tell her whatever you want.”
“Yay!” Simple Simon whoops. Then before the farmer can say anything else, the clueless young upstart has taken off in a cloud of dust and fluttering leaves. Faintly, the farmer can hear him shouting, “We’ll come again!”
The farmer stares after his fast disappearing back and shakes his head. He is beginning to think that he has somehow been had. By a simpleton no less, and isn’t that amazing?
He also wonders how he is going to explain to his wife about the destroyed and missing flowers from their garden.
Meanwhile, Simple Simon reaches home and proudly gives the lovely bunch of flowers to his overworked mother. She is appropriately appreciative for a woman distracted by work. She gives him a sweet cake and runs him out of the kitchen.
Then, still distracted, she puts the bunch of flowers on the shelf quite near the fireplace and promptly forgets about them. The flowers soon wilt, and there they remain until she remembers to clean up the top shelves.
Simple Simon, however, takes his sweet cake outside and sits under a tree. He is happy his mother likes the flowers. Perhaps he’ll visit the farmer’s garden soon and pick her more flowers. Perhaps she’d come with him!
More Simple Simon Stories here https://myreadingpoet.com/category/fiction-and-short-stories/
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