Timmy desires to attend school but is unable to do so because of an illness. His siblings bring him fruit borne of an apple tree, which helps him become better. Remaining hopeful that someday he will attend school, his siblings teach him new things they learn. When his condition worsens, his family plants an apple in the garden, but will it grow and bear fruit in time so that Timmy may recover?
My younger brother named Timmy lies in bed most of the day with little strength to play. Every day, I spend time with him teaching him new things that I’ve learned at school.
“Someday I will attend school with you”. Timmy gets excited, imagining what it would be like.
However, because of Timmy’s condition, he’s never been able to attend my school. Too often he becomes sick with fever. Today, he was so sick, the doctor had to visit.
After waking up from his rest, Timmy asked, “I feel a little better, but I want an apple”. Apples were Timmy’s favorite food. Whatever variety, he loved them all.
“We don’t have any. You’ll have to wait till next week”. Mommy encouraged. Mommy didn’t have enough to buy much fruit. Nonetheless, he insisted on having an apple and refused to eat anything the rest of the day.
The next day, even my teacher noticed I was bothered about something. “What’s wrong Anton?” She asked, “Your assignment is to use your imagination and draw anything you like about the universe that God created. Yet your sketchpad is still blank”.
And it remained blank because all I could think about was making my little brother happy.
When school let out, my siblings and some friends and I began walking home. Approaching Hill Point, the highest point between home and school, we could see miles away. While gazing at the woodlands, I noticed a tree with what looked like red dots scattered throughout its branches. “Is that what I think it is?” Thinking of Timmy, I ran to it.
When I arrived, I was panting and in awe of all the apples and its various colors. It was the only apple tree in the area. I found it interesting that I had never noticed it before! There must have been an apple on every branch. In fact, one of the limbs was within my reach. With all my strength, I shook it as hard as I could.
My brothers and sisters and some friends arrived in time to see the apples fall. Altogether, there must have been about seventy apples lying all around. “Fill your school bags”, I asked.
“There is no more room”, my sister Mika replied, zipping her bag, “and there is still more.”
“Then we’ll pile them up in our arms”. We left without leaving one behind. I was so anxious to get home to surprise Timmy with his favorite food.
When we arrived, Mommy greeted us and told us he was napping. She began crying when she saw all the apples. “How did you pay for all those apples?” Mommy asked.
“We didn’t have to. There is an apple tree on the way home from school, and there is still plenty more!”
She gave each one of us a huge hug. Then she instructed us, “Quietly enter his room and display all the apples beside him and around him”.
We did, waiting until he woke up. Instantly tears began to flow from his eyes. By the look on his face, I could tell Timmy thought he was dreaming. One by one, we gave him a hug.
When Timmy learned of where the apples came from, he was filled with excitement. “As soon as I get better, I can walk with all of you on our way to school and you can show me the tree”. Of course, that meant Mommy would have to go with him to keep her eye on him.
By the end of the week, every apple had been eaten. Timmy alone had eaten ten, and it looked like he could eat another ten. Something amazing occurred that week. Ever since we brought home those apples, Timmy’s health seemed to improve. None of us could understand how this could happen, not even Mommy.
The doctor was puzzled. “Your brother is getting well and that pretty soon he’ll be able to attend school with the rest of you”. Before leaving the house, the doctor did say, “There is an old cliché – an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. He winked his eye at us. Everyone was happy for Timmy.
When Monday arrived, Timmy walked with us to Hill Point. It was the first time he had done so. As we continued on our way to school, he and Mommy went to the apple tree.
The next day, we were surprised to see him on our way home from school. Of course, we knew what he wanted. We followed him to the apple tree where we sat down underneath the shade to sink our teeth into a crispy, juicy apple. There was something special about this tree as if it were put there just for him.
Suddenly, winter unexpectedly arrived, and the apple tree lost all its leaves and fruit. Timmy becomes sad and ill again. Having only one last apple, instead of it being eaten, I plant it in the ground.
“Gather together and let us pray that it may grow and bear fruit so that Timmy’s health may be restored”, Mommy entreated. Season by season we would take watch as it grew.
Meanwhile, Timmy’s condition becomes so bad that mommy calls the doctor. The doctor pulls mommy aside to quietly tell her, “Timmy will not live much longer”.
When I overheard this, I rushed out of the room and into the back garden in tears. I opened my eyes and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The apple tree had finally grown and borne fruit. I plucked an apple and ran into the bedroom and gave it to Timmy. With each bite Timmy begins to recover, loving everything and everyone. Soon, Timmy is able to go to school and play with us. As for the apple tree, it bears fruit all year long. Timmy names it Happy Apple.
A true friend is to the end.
Author: Keith Yrisarri Stateson
Creative Editors and Editors: Jin-Ho Kim, Teresa Garcia Stateson
Names are listed alphabetically within each field, regardless of the amount an individual contributed.