The Apple’s Treasures

If we lift our apple by its stem, it hangs in the same position as when growing on the tree.

But the blossom whose place in the world is taken by this apple held its little head proudly in the air. So let us put the apple in the same position, and see what is left of the flower from which it has come.

We see the apple stem, which last May was the flower stem. This has grown thick and strong enough to hold the apple fast to the tree till it ripens and is ready to drop.

The upper part of the stem you cannot see, because the apple has swelled downwards all about it, or upwards we should say, if it were still on the tree.

On the top of the apple, in a little hollow, we see some crumpled things which look like tiny withered leaves.

You remember that when the bee left the yellow dust in the apple blossom, the green cup began to grow big and juicy, and to turn into the apple. And these little crumpled things are all that is left of the five green leaves into which the upper part of the cup was divided. These little leaves have been out in all kinds of weather for many weeks, so no wonder they look rather mussy and forlorn.

It is hard to realize that from the center of this now crumpled bunch grew the pretty apple blossom.

Now where are those tiny round things that were packed away inside the green cup?

Well, as that cup is now this apple, the chances are that they are still hidden safely away within it. So let us take a knife and cut the apple open.

What do you find in its very heart? If you cut it through crosswise, you find five brown seeds packed as neatly as jewels in their case; and if you cut it through lengthwise, you discover only two or three seeds.

Probably I need not say to you that these seeds were once the little round things hidden within the green cup.

Some day I will tell you a great deal more about the wonderful golden dust which turns flowers into apples as easily as Cinderella’s fairy godmother turned rats into ponies, and pumpkins into coaches.

But all this will come later. Just now I want to talk about something else.

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