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The Farmer And His Landlord

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6 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Master Inika

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Posted Feb 04 2012 - 09:23 AM

This is a not-so-ancient Southern folk story I made up. Hope you guys like it. :) "The Farmer and his Landlord" Long ago, a farmer lived in a rural village in Spanish Florida with his wife and young son. Their farm was very small, but the crops they grew always brought enough revenue to give them all they needed. The farmer told his family they persevered because hard work is always rewarded. They were always hungry, but never starving, and lived happily. The son played by the river with his friends, and the wife read news articles and magazines. The farmer, when his work was done, enjoyed hunting game in the woods. The farmer's landlord, however, was cruel and greedy. He hated the farmer and all poor people. To him, to be happy as a poor man was a sin. In these times, it was permitted for a landlord to kill a tenant who failed to pay his rent on time. However, the farmer always paid his rent within the very hour. The farmer's house rested far south, near Lake Okeechobee, while the landlord lived in a grand estate on the Panhandle. Although most people of this era traveled by carriage, all the farmer could afford was an old yet reliable mule. To make his monthly rent, he woke up earlier than any other day of the month and rode his mule, reaching the landlord's estate by high noon, and took the remainder of the day to ride back. Each week, a disabled veteran limped through the village, politely asking for donations. While most rudely denied the veteran, the farmer was always able to spare a small amount of pesos or some food for the kind old man. This further enraged and perplexed the landlord. Then, the landlord got a nasty idea. He took his rifle and rode his stagecoach to the farmer's house. It was the dead of night, and only twelve hours until his tenant's rent was due. The landlord took aim and shot the mule, and then raced back to his estate. The next morning, the farmer awoke to find his faithful mule dead in a pool of his own blood. And his rent was due in but six hours. He would not bother his family with this sad news. Knowing he would not make it in time, he threw his sack of pesos over his shoulder and began walking to his landlord's estate. After an hour, a carriage pulled up next to the farmer, who was very sweaty and tired. When he looked to the carriage, he was surprised to see the veteran he had helped for those many years. "Thank you. I had bought this carriage and horse with your generous donations," the veteran said. "I'm glad your leg will know some rest," the farmer replied. "Would you like a ride?" the veteran offered. "The carriage is not mine. I want you to enjoy it," the farmer said. "I cannot enjoy this without the company of you, my friend, and the only person in all South Florida to not laugh at my poverty and give me nothing." The farmer smiled, and boarded the carriage. The veteran got him to his landlord's estate in only two hours, where he paid his rent hours early to a shocked landlord. As it also turned out, the Governor of Spanish Florida was visiting the landlord. The veteran struck up a conversation with the Governor, and learned Tallahassee was currently experiencing a deficiency of agriculture. The veteran then went on to speak of the farmer's generous and hardworking nature. Against the landlord's wishes, the Governor offered to the farmer a new, larger farm in the capital, where he and his family could live. After working for a month in his new farm and making more profits than ever before, the farmer learned from a passing trader that his former landlord had since been forced to file for bankruptcy.

Edited by Master Inika, Mar 10 2012 - 11:48 PM.

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#2 Offline The Root

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Posted Feb 11 2012 - 09:31 PM

That should be a book. And I saw the moral in there! Good job!
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#3 Offline Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa

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Posted Feb 28 2012 - 09:19 PM

A fine story, written in a style that felt very much like an old folk tale. A good moral tucked in there, too. I agree with Didonchu in that this, with a lot of elaboration, could make an excellent novel. Of course, it would become a lot more involved and require a lot of research and and and . . .

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#4 Offline Zeppelin

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Posted Mar 04 2012 - 06:56 PM

Just as the other two, I liked reading this. Very simple, but still great. And it's got a nice moral to boot.

Edited by Zeppelin, Mar 04 2012 - 06:56 PM.

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#5 Offline Velox

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Posted Jan 17 2013 - 04:02 AM

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000080;]Hey there, your story has been selected for a free SSCC Charity Review![/color][/font]


[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000080;]Let me start off by saying well-done with the grammar. Usually I find at least one or two mistakes, but I found none here, so great job with that. Grammar is definitely a key part to any story.[/color][/font]


[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000080;]The story itself was fairly well written. I think the best way to describe it would just be that it's dry. Even during the "sad" parts, there wasn't really any emotion that I felt with this. On the other hand I understand that this is supposed to be a folk tale, and as such is written somewhat like a fairy-tale, but all the same, I just think that more emotion could be involved -- both happy and sad and even angry. When the farmer was happy, I really didn't feel a sense of happiness; nor sadness when he was sad or anger when the landowner did things worth being angry about. I'm not completely sure how that can be rectified, but I think part of the problem is characterization -- I just didn't really feel all that connected to the farmer at all throughout the story, but as he's obviously the good guy in this, I really should have. But again I realize that it's fairy-tale-ish, and so it can be hard to incorporate those things when you're using a writing style like this, but I think it'd be good if you could. [/color][/font]


[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000080;]But speaking of writing style, while this is written as a folk tale, I still would've liked to see some things explained better and less...convenient. For example meeting the veteran or what have you. Why couldn't he have just walked or jogged? As far as I am aware, mules aren't the fastest of creatures. It wouldn't be pleasant, and it would require a lot of effort, sure, but I feel like he couldn't made it if he walked quickly or jogged, without needing the convenience of the veteran. There's also the veteran himself, then. It seems like one day he was living on the street, and the next day he's living like a king. I know that's greatly exaggerated on my part, but the point is that it just didn't seem likely to me. The farmer could only give a little bit each day, and instead of saving it, I'd think that the veteran would use it to buy food or something -- after all, not many other people give him money, so what little money he is given from the farmer, wouldn't that be used for food? Perhaps it was just the way you explained it, though, and if it is made more clear why and how he is able to save for a carriage instead of spend it on money, it'd work better. [/color][/font]


[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000080;]And I know I rambled far too much for such a simple problem, so I'll stop there. As others have said, this was definitely a nice and well-written little folk tale, and I could see this becoming expanded into a novel or a longer short story as well. Keep writing![/color][/font]


[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"][color=#000080;]Posted Image[/color][/font]

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#6 Offline Toa Smoke Monster

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Posted Jan 17 2013 - 01:07 PM

As everyone else has stated, I really enjoyed this story. The lesson it teaches is a good one, which makes the story even better. The ending did feel a little abrupt to me. So the Landlord did into bankrupcy, but what happened to him after that? Did he become poor as well, or did someone (like a family member or close friend) give him money to help him out? It would be nice to find out for sure what happened to the greedy Landlord after he filed for bankrupcy.


That is the only nitpick I have with your folk story. (No grammar mistakes FTW!) Keep up the good work, because I would love to read more stories like this. B-)

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Everyone is one choice away from being the bad guy in another person's story.



#7 Offline SkyLandOceAnna

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Posted Jan 21 2013 - 02:47 AM

I love stories that have a deeper meaning behind the words of the creator. I think you did a great job in creating a story in which the reader can identify its purpose. I understand what Velox meant by the veteran one day being on the streets and the next with the carriage. I'll just assume it isn't a very grand carriage, but rather old and just functioning. Still, I enjoyed the story very much. Thank you!

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