In a parallel universe there was no such thing as money. Instead to purchase good and services they used apples. Yes apples. Strange I know, but this is what they used. In this particular world, inflation during the summer and autumn months was rife. It could cost as much as an entire orchard just to purchase a wholemeal nutty brown loaf. They also had problems in the winter months where it had been known for millionaires to become bankrupt overnight because of mildew. Still the people of this world didn’t know any better and they persevered.
Now the King of Somerset, a particularly prosperous part of the world mainly due to its’ cider apples, decided it was time to settle some of his accounts. His name was King Bramley and he was extremely rich, especially this year due to a bumper crop. Being rich there were people who owed him money. One day he decided to call in his debts.
“SMITH, GRANNY SMITH. Please enter the council chamber” cried the usher.
A wizened old lady in a shawl enters. She bows low before the King. “Your Appletiseness” grovels Granny Smith
Now Granny” says King Bramley “You owe me ten thousand Cox’s Orange pippins. How do you propose to pay me back?
Granny was distraught. “Oh sir, your ciderness. Please forgive me. I’ve no apples to pay you with and I need more time to pay you back.
The King says bluntly “Ok, Ok, that’s fine.”
“It is?” says Granny confused.
“Yes. It’s OK.” The King replies “You’ll just have to go to prison until your next harvest. NEXT! Call in the next debtor”
Granny falls at his feet begging. “Oh please sir, I have a large family to keep, a dog, a cat. A budgie, a goldfish, two of those……a guinea pig, a lop eared rabbit with a lisp costs me a fortune in speech therapy bills, or is that the kids, no I haven’t got any goats….”
The King looks at the old woman and is moved by her pleading “Granny. Please stop it. Don’t get in a strudel. Today’s your lucky day. I’m going to let you off.
Granny stops the pleading and looks up “What all of it?”
“Yes” replies the King
“Yes” he says again
There’s a short pause and then she asks “You’re not taking the pip are you?”
A little affronted King Bramley replies “Do you want to be forgiven or not?”
“Yes, yes. I do” Is her immediate response “Oh thank you so much. I thank you from my very core”
“Well off you go.” Says the King “Toodle PIP.”
King goes to sit down on his thrown, but as Granny leaves and walks out of the castle, he is feeling so pleased with his good deed he decides to look out the window and watch granny walk through the orchards to the town. The idea of hoping to see her skipping with delight at being blessed in this way a peeled to him. Instead what he sees shocks him.
He does indeed observe Granny skipping, for she was truly overjoyed at being forgiven, but on her way out she bumped into an old acquaintance.
“Oh, hello, I know you, don’t I?” Asks Granny
It was the lovely Golden Delicious. “Hello Granny” she says “How’s the very core of you today?
“Fine and fruity me old scrumpy.” Granny replies “I remember, you’re the lovely Golden Delicious.”
Golden smiles “Oh Granny, you are sweet”
“Thank you” Suddenly Granny’s face changes. “Ah Yes, I especially remember you owe me some apples.”
“Oh Granny, I will pay you back.” Says Golden Delicious desperately “Honest I will. It’s just my harvest was poor and the apples I did get were only small, and on top of that my, my, my favourite pet pig, Archibald has a nasty case of gout….”
Angrily Granny shouts “I DON’T CARE ABOUT THAT. Where’s my 20 Cox’s Pippins?”
“I’m so very sorry. I don’t have it Granny” Golden Delicious starts to cry into her handkerchief, blowing her nose loudly.
“Right then me old apple blossom, it’s off to the cider press for you.” Granny grabs Golden by the hair and is about to drag Golden off when the King, who has left his window view and has been watching from the side, steps in
“STOP RIGHT THERE” He storms “I saw that Granny. I think what you did was a pretty poor show. I think you’re a rotten apple if you ask me, with black spots on as well. I cancelled your debts because you pleaded for mercy and yet I catch you scrumping from this young lady. You will be sent to the Cider Press until every last drop of juice, every single little tiny dollop of sauce has been squeezed back.”
The guards arrive and Granny is arrested. While they hold her the King turns to Golden Delicious and becomes quite fatherly and asks her “Please tell me Golden. Do you understand the moral of this tale?”
Golden Delicious thinks hard “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away?” she smiles.
The King confused by the reply says “…er no that’s not it at all. The moral of the tale is...
Forgiveness - Forgive people their debts, just as you have been forgiven your debts.”
Golden Delicious smiles, the King smiles, the guards smile. Granny is carried off to the cider press, she isn’t smiling. If she still had her teeth she would be gnashing them.