The Original Fables of La Fontaine/The Acorn and the Pumpkin

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(Book IX.—No. 4)

What God does is done well. Without going round the world to seek a proof of that, I can find one in the pumpkin.

A villager was once struck with the largeness of a pumpkin and the thinness of the stem upon which it grew. "What could the Almighty have been thinking about?" he cried." He has certainly chosen a bad place for a pumpkin to grow. Eh zounds! Now I would have hung it on one of these oaks. That would have been just as it should be. Like fruit, like tree! What a pity, Hodge," said he, addressing himself, "that you were not on the spot to give advice at the Creation which the parson preaches about. Everything would have been properly done then. For instance; wouldn't this acorn, no bigger than my little finger, be better hanging on this frail stem? The Almighty has blundered there surely! The more I think about these fruits and their situations, the more it seems to me that it is all a mistake."

Becoming worried by so much reflection our Hodge cast himself under an oak saying, "A man can't sleep when he has so much brain." Then he at once dropped off into a nap.

Presently an acorn fell plump upon his nose. Starting from sleep, he put his hand up to see what had happened and found the acorn caught in his beard, whilst his nose began to pain and bleed. "Oh, oh!" he cried, "I am bleeding. How would it have been if a heavier mass than this had fallen from the tree: if this acorn had been a pumpkin? The Almighty did not intend that, I see. Doubtless he was right. I understand the reason why perfectly now."

So praising God for all things Hodge took his way home.