Thursday, April 05, 2007

Adam's Apple

An apple still life. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"How many apples fell on Newton's head before he took the hint? Nature is always hinting at us. It hints over and over again. And suddenly we take the hint." ~ Robert Frost (1874-1963)
This fruit has been intertwined with man's history from the beginning. When Eve gave in to temptation and ate the apple, she wrecked havoc on all humanity. Adam was spineless, ate a bite as well and then blamed the whole thing on Eve... this too has continued throughout history.

In Greek folklore, the Earth Goddess, Gaia, gave Hera, the Queen of Heaven, an apple tree when she married Zeus. That tree was kept in the Garden of the Hesperides, guarded by the dragon, Ladon. One of Hercules’ tasks was to fetch an apple from that tree.

The evil Queen gave Snow White a poison apple so perfectly red and shiny she couldn't resist. With one bite Snow White fell into a deep death-like sleep until she was awakened by the kiss of Prince Charming. (Where is Prince Charming when you need him?)

The Legend of William Tell describes a Swiss national who defied Austrian authority, was arrested and forced to shoot an apple from his small son's head with a crossbow at a distance of 80 paces by the hated Austrian governor. Successful, he subsequently ambushed and killed the governor, an event that is said to have led to rebellion against Austrian rule.

Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman), began his westward mission in 1797. Moving ahead of the pioneers, he planted apple seeds and seedlings, setting up nurseries in Ohio, Indiana and other areas of the Midwest. Often he sold or gave these orchards to the settlers moving in. He was a peacemaker between settlers and the Indians and never carried a weapon. He continued his work for fifty years and is memorialized as a man who based his life on the principles, "To Do Justly, To Love Mercy and To Walk Humbly With His God."

Then of course, there is Sir Isaac Newton who is said to have worked out the laws of gravity while sitting under an apple tree and after having an apple fall and hit him squarely on the head. Ouch!

These are but of few examples of the folklore surrounding the apple.... remember, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Well, at least most of them!

Submission for Lensday topic "fruit". (end of post)

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