Parable of the Watermelon ... by Cindy Beck

© Cindy Beck, 2008
(Keywords: Cindy Beck, parable, watermelon, fruit garden, vineyard, weeds, tiller, YourLDSNeighborhood.com)

Russ meandered into the garage, looking for something constructive to do.

Meanwhile, in the garden, Cindy stepped over to the dark green vine, gently moving the big leaves this way and that. “Ah-ha! I actually have a watermelon growing.” Leaning down, she brushed the dust off the green-striped, four-inch melon. A far-away look entered her eyes. “It’s been a lot of work; I’ve tried for years to grow melons. I’ve digged and pruned and dunged my vine. I’ve trimmed out the wild branches and grafted in the tame. And now, one has finally made it.”

The mistress of the vineyard was pleased. She reached down and patted the melon as if it were a well-loved toddler. “Keep on growing.” Then she walked to the car, got in, and drove away to run errands.

In the garage, Russ looked around. Like a typical husband, he wanted something loud, heavy, and manly with which to work. He spotted the Mega-Tiller. Its green hulk took up half the floor space, and when started, its roar equaled a nuclear blast. Russ’s eyes gleamed with excitement and he could almost smell the musky scent of oil, gasoline and plowed earth.

“I’ll go till the weeds in the garden.” With an iron grip, he caught the handle and in one smooth move pulled the rope starter. The Mega-Tiller roared to life, flames shooting from its bowels.

Well … okay, there weren’t really any flames, but it makes for a good story.

With a clunk, Russ threw the machine into gear. He walked the motorized beast across the lawn and to the vegetable patch.

The weeds trembled in fear. Or maybe it was from the wind that the Mega-Tiller created as it churned the earth. Then again, it could have been from the heavy breathing Russ was doing while muscling that two-ton machine around.

Grasses bowed their heads in defeat and morning glories cursed as they were chopped to pieces. Of course, they would just take root wherever they were chopped and there’d be even more of them in two weeks, but Russ and the Mega-Tiller ignored that.

Finally, after the bulk of the weeds were ripped from their mortal existence, Russ eyed the watermelon vine. The melon knew that look and it rolled, trying its best to move to the center of the plant.

The engine on the Mega-Tiller idled with a loud purr as Russ walked around the leafy vine. He scuffed at the weeds growing near the plant. With a nod to the machine he said, “It would be a pain to pull these weeds by hand. If I’m really careful, I could just run the tiller around the outside perimeter of the plant and they’d be gone in a tenth of the time.”

The Mega-Tiller hiccupped in agreement and then roared with delight as Russ threw it into gear. Straddling the freshly tilled mounds of earth, Russ held fast to the machine as it rumbled its way toward the trembling melon.

Closer. Closer. With an unplanned lurch, the Mega-Tiller of Death flung its metal tines against the melon and sliced it in half.

“Oops,” said Russ.

The next day, Cindy walked outside in anticipation, wondering how much the melon had grown through the night. She could almost smell the sweet scent of ripe watermelon. Could almost taste the cool sweetness of the fruit in her mouth, the icy tingle of the juice as it slid down her throat on a hot summer’s eve.

She stopped. The garden looked freshly tilled. It was so nice of Russ to rid it of weeds. The mistress of the vineyard walked to her plant. Bending down, she looked for the fruit. “Russ,” she called out. “Did you pick my melon?”

Then she saw it. Exposed to the sun, its red flesh had tightened and dried. Ragged edges hung from the split sides and dirt caked the bottom of the now deceased melon.

And the mistress of the vineyard was vexed … and Russ was sore afraid. And he vowed to her that he would never till again without her there to stand guard.

What's playing in my head: Nothing. My brain is mush from hunting for a new home!

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Nichole Giles said...


I can't believe he tilled your melon! Men and their tools. Well, at least you know he was trying to help.

I always love your stories. They're such a comic relief.


Cathy said...

'The mistress of the vineyard was vexed.' Love that alliteration.
What is it about guys and power tools, eh.

Steven O'Dell said...

Now just wait one minute! I have to take exception to that. I loved your story, but as a man I have no hormonally-driven obsession for power tools. If I were to buy a router for Christmas, it would be for my wife--strange, but true. Not that I don't see the value in power tools and not that I have never experienced that rush of excitement from their use, but I have also felt the siren call of the writer's pen and pad, wafting my name not-so-gently across the room. These days, that call bears more weight. Besides, I have never cut myself on a ball point pen or a PC keyboard. There's something to be said for that.