I was looking for a harvest story for today, and found this one “Sowing Pine Seeds” from Sweden. I found it on-line at The Gold Scales. It made me smile. It’s another example of cleverness winning the day, only this time the person in power admires it instead of being angered.
In Kopinge lies Ugerup Estate, also called Urup, famous in the history of Denmark. In the 1500s, when Arild Ugerup was yet a young man he was captured by the Swedes and carried as a prisoner to Stockholm. His friends had little hope that they would ever see him again.
But while Arild was languishing in his prison it occurred to him that he should seek the king’s permission to go home on parole to sow and gather his crops. The king readily granted his petition since Arild promised to return to his confinement as soon as his harvest was ripe.
He at once hastened to Skane. And in the fields where his ancestors had grown corn, he planted pine seeds.
When the autumn had passed, the king thought the harvest must have been gathered, and sent Arild a request to come to Stockholm. But Arild convinced the messenger that his seeds had not yet sprouted, much less ripened.
When the king was informed about the matter, he smiled and decided to let the matter rest. So Arild got his freedom without breaking his word.
I read a little bit about how long it takes a pine tree to grow from seed. Apparently if you plant it indoors in a pot, on average you won’t see any growth at all for up to 3 months. After that, if you plant it outside, it takes about 2 years to grow a foot.
I like that the king recognizes the Arild’s trick and it amuses him so that rather than sending soldiers our to get him, he just leaves Arild be. Of course, I’m a sucker for a happy ending.
Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.