A fairy tale about Belgium

Once there was a smallish, but relatively prosperous farm which easily fed the family living off it. But when the old farmer died, his sons quarreled over the heritage and divided the tasks and responsibilities over specific parts of the farm among them.

Nobody wanted to split the farm upright, because at that moment in time, the sons had enough sense left to see that three mini-farms, cut out of the small paternal holding, could not subsist and feed their families. So they divided some tasks and responsibilities, because they all wanted to lord it over part of the farm.

But they blotched up the job. They screwed up bad !

Jacob got the richer northern fields but could not decide all by himself which crops he was going to harvest, which seeds to use, or which fertiliser. And he had to pay an annuity his brothers in compensation for his better soil. Seb farmed the southern fields, under the same restrictions as Jacob. And Joseph remained in charge of the farm buildings and messed about in anything that took his fancy. His main joy was to put up his brothers against each other.

Soon the brethern no longer were on speaking terms. And the profitability of the farm fell, because the right decisions could no longer be taken at the right level Jacob needed other crops, Seb needed another fertiliser a.s.o... So they were planning to cut up the farm even further to clear out the responsibilities. Jacob even threatened to go it alone. He lived under the illusion that if he did things himself, he could do them better. But he forgot how small his parcel was ...

Then there came a big storm, a hurricane the like of which no living soul had seen in decades, and an important stable, which all three used, was creaking to the point of collapse. For once, in full panic, the brothers decided to place a couple of supporting beams in that creaky building. And loo and behold, the stable appeared to be stabilised , at least for the short term.

So the brothers felt free to go on with their quarrels. No repairs took place and there was no reconciliation, only bitterness. And what had to happen, happened : the farm collapsed and was bought for some bags of peanuts by neighbouring farmers.

The farmers and their families ate the nuts- they no longer had any fields to plant them in, and anyway, they nuts would not have grown in the given climate. And none of the three brothers blamed himself, as the ruin of the farm so clearly was the fault of the others.

So they all ended up penniless, despised by their neigbours for which they now worked as the lowest of farm hands and, more often than not, hungry.

Stupid farmers.


Pablo Carpintero said...

Maybe this stupid farce can help foreigners to understand how stupid our quarrels are.

Anonymous said...

ALs twee honden vechten om een been ... Kijk rondom je en vul zelf verder in.