prepping my students for the test.. . Real Life.

Uncovered this gem while doing some NJ ASK testing review 
with the kids this past week.
.definitely worth sharing out.  

Chinese folktale  
 :The Seed: 

   Long, Long ago in China, there lived a wise emperor whose once dark braid had turned the color of new-fallen snow. He was old, and it was time for him to choose a successor. Although he had many sons and grandsons to choose from, the emperor felt that power and wealth had made his heirs lazy. He wanted to appoint someone outside the family. 

   Loud drums called a gathering of young men to the temple at the top of the mountain. When they arrived, the emperor, seated on a magnificent throne, announced, "It is time to choose the next emperor."
   The shocked townsmen whispered among themselves, "Nothing like this has ever happened before!"

   The emperor continued, "Today, each of you will take a seed. In one year, you will bring your plant to the temple."
   A golden bowl filled with seeds was set before the crowd. Each person took just one seed. A young man named Chun was last in line. He chose his seed carefully. 
   Holding it tightly in his fist, he ran home to tell his mother. She listened to the story and gave him a beautiful blue and white porcelain bowl. 

   Chun carefully watered the seed. He watched. He waited. But nothing happened. the others talked about their plants that were pushing up through the soil. 
   Weeks passed and still nothing. Something's wrong. Chun thought. But he did not give up and kept watering his seed. 

   Other men in the village were transplanted their original plants into bigger containers. Chun thought he must have done something wrong. He prayed at the temple for a miracle. 
   Six months went by, and still nothing grew in his blue and white bowl. Could I have killed my seed with too much water? he wondered. All around the village there were containers filled with wonderful looking plants. But Chun's seed had not yet sprouted. 

   The one-year mark arrived, and it was time to carry the plants up the mountain to the temple. " I'm not taking my empty bowl to the temple," Chun said to his mother. 
   "You must go," she encouraged. "You have done your best and must keep your promise." 
   Although Chun felt sad and a little embarrassed, he carried his empty bowl up the steep stone steps that led to the temple. When he arrived at the top, there were so many plants that it was easy to hide his empty bowl among them. 

   "There are the most beautiful plants I've ever seen!" exclaimed the emperor as he sat on his throne. 

   As he stood up and walked around, he noticed the empty blue and white porcelain bowl behind a big plant. "What's this?" he questioned, holding the bowl in his hands. 
  Chun tried to hide, but those near him laughed and pushed him forward.

   "What's your name?" the emperor asked. 
   "My name is Chun," he whispered without looking up. 
   "Why did you bring me an empty bowl?" he questioned. 
   "My seed didn't grow," Chun replied. "I failed."

   "You did not fail," the emperor said.  "Last year I passed out seeds and told you all to plant them. But the seeds I gave you had been boiled, none of them could have possibly grown."

   He raised his voice and spoke to the crowd. "When you found out that your seeds would not sprout, you substituted other seeds. Only one person had enough honesty and courage to bring me the original seed. That is why Chun will be the next emperor."
copyright SPIDER 2005

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