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The real story behind “The Great Corvallis Bean Miracle.”
Genetically, Tim Turtle was designed to “snap.” His mother told him from an early age that this might “cause him to alienate other creatures.” At the time, Tim was too young to know what “snapping” meant, but he assumed it was something peaceful, because peaceful was the word that described him best.
Throughout elementary school, Tim had no trouble making friends, because he was very outgoing and treated everyone with respect and kindness. Then Tim graduated to middle school, and life became more complicated. Tim made plans with Sam Salamander, but then Sam cancelled on him at the last minute. Then another time, Tim made plans with Bella Bullfrog, and she showed up an hour late to his house. This behavior confused and angered Tim, because he never would have cancelled or shown up late on them. He respected his friends, but, for the first time, he doubted whether they respected him back. So, Tim asked his mother for her opinion.
“You should snap at them,” his mother said,”and yell as loudly as you can.” Tim thought this advice over for a while, and then came to the conclusion that his mother might be right. So, the next day at school, Tim took Sam aside and started yelling.
“How could you ditch me?” Tim snapped. “Friends don’t cancel plans at the last minute.”
“Susie asked me out on a date, and I’d never been on a date before,” Sam said defensively, “I thought you would understand.” And, of course, Tim did understand, but he was still upset.
“You should have told me,” said Tim, “It’s great that you had a date, but I was looking forward to hanging out.”
“I will be better next time,” said Sam, and this made Tim happy, because this was all he wanted to hear. Later that day, Tim found Bella in the hallway.
“Why did you show up late last week?” Tim yelled. “I felt silly, and I kept looking at the clock.”
“I had to write a paper,” Bella said sadly. “I wanted to be there earlier, but I had to work extra hard. I didn’t do so well on my last paper.” Tim nodded. Again, he understood his friend. He wanted her to do well on her paper.
“You should have called me,” said Tim, “It just would have been nice to know you were running late. ”
“I will be better next time,” said Bella, and that was all Tim wanted to hear. Never again would Tim snap at his friends. If he was angry with them, he would talk to them kindly, and give them a chance to explain. Occasionally there would be a friend who had no reason for being impolite, and to those friends Tim would simply reply, “I have no time for disrespectful friends,” and move on.
Written and Owned by Alex Schattner
Mr. and Mrs. Morris owned Emerald Meadows, a 200-acre farm in Corvallis, Oregon. When they originally bought the property, they had intended to grow hearty vegetables, but their neighbors warned that it was a fool’s mission. “The only thing that will grow here is grass seed,” they said, and the Morris’s were inclined to believe them. There wasn’t much choice. They needed the land to start making money as soon as possible.
Even so, the Morris’s learned to love their farm, and the little Victorian house in which they resided. The calm that came with the farming lifestyle suited them fine, and they required no one but each other for company. Their only concern was what would happen to the farm in the future when they were too old to work it. They had no children, and the generation behind seemed to prefer the bustle of cities.
Decades past, and the Morris’s indeed grew older. Their back problems worsened, and they found that it took twice as long to complete half as much work. As a new planting time came upon them they realized that they required help. So, they wrote an ad, “Seeking Two Capable Farmhands,” and paid a neighborhood boy to post it online. That night they received a call at eight o’clock sharp.
“We’re on our way,” said a spirited young woman’s voice.
“Who are you?” asked Mr. Morris, but the woman had already hung up. At dawn, the Morris’s were awoken by the sound of a car coming up their gravel driveway. They peered out there window in time to see a young couple step out of their Prius. The young man wore skinny jeans and military jacket. The young woman had short brown hair, big blue eyes, and wore a floral sundress.
“Hollywood people are invading our house,” said Mrs. Morris, more curious than concerned.
“Well let’s see what they want,” said Mr. Morris, debating whether to take the shotgun from beside the bed. They both walked downstairs, and opened the front door.
“We saw your ad in the paper,” said the young man, “It is just what we have been looking for. I’m Tom and this is my wife Kim.” Kim hugged her “new friends,” before Mr. and Mrs. Morris could say anything to the contrary.
“Have you farmed before?” asked Mrs. Morris.
“We grow beans,” said Tom, “We’ve grown them in Iowa, Kansas, and Wisconsin, and now we’d like to grow them here.”
“The only thing that grows here is grass,” said Mr. Morris.
“If you provide us with a little plot of land, we will prove to you otherwise,” said Tom. “If nothing grows within a month of us planting our beans, you can kick us out. In the meantime, my wife and I will tend to your farm’s needs. All we ask in return is three square meals a day, and a room to sleep.” Mr. Morris looked at his guests suspiciously, but his wife spoke first.
“You’re hired,” said Mrs. Morris, and that was the last word on the subject. Little did they know that this decision would be even greater than they could ever imagine. Tom and Kim plowed all 200 acres in two days, and planted grass seeds on 199 of them. The last acre, the one nearest to the house, they kept for the beans. For a time, everything worked out just as the Morris’s had suspected. The grasslands became green, and the nearest acre remained dead and brown.
“I told you,” Mr. Morris said after a month, “only grass seed grows here.”
“They are not growing, because Kim and I haven’t planted them yet,” Tom said, “The ground must be perfectly warm. Planting them too soon is as bad as not planting them at all. Maybe tomorrow I will plant them.”
“I said I would give you a month,” said Mr. Morris, angered, “And you have done nothing!”
“You agreed to give us a month after the beans were planted,” said Kim. This made Mr. Morris furious, but he realized that Kim was right, and he had to stand by his word.
So, Mr. Morris watched and waited. Every day he would ask, “Have you planted the seeds yet,” and every day Tom would say, “No, maybe tomorrow.” Then, one morning in mid-June, Mr. Morris awoke to the sound of sprinkling water. Tom and Kim were out in the field. He was laying down the seeds, and Kim was watering by hand. The work was tedious, but they didn’t seem to mind. The smiles on their faces were so genuine and optimistic, that even Mr. Morris started to believe the beans would grow.
And grow they did, practically overnight, and Kim continued to water all the plants by hand. Mr. and Mrs. Morris joined in as well, and the beanstalks grew ten feet tall. Their neighbors soon heard of the beans, and came to gawk first-hand.
“How did you do this?” one of neighbors asked, “It’s a miracle.”
“It’s not a miracle,” Tom responded. “Sometimes heartier plants require more patience.” And from then on, the Morris’s grew whatever crops they wished, and Tom and Kim became their family. News of Emerald Meadows’s success spread across the country, and encouraged other young people to flock to Oregon, and carry on the farming tradition.
This story is written and owned by Alex Schattner