A refugee from the city to farm country in New Mexico. Apple orchard owned by Mr. Sprouse who knows a city slicker when he sees one. Mr. Sprouse includes an apple tree with the farm he is renting to the narrator. Mr. Sprose’s wife and surviving son [lost his first son to the war] are mean people, although the narrator’s relationship to Mr. Sprouse is good. Treats the narrator like his son.
Then came the harvest of the apples. Mrs. Sprouse had planted the narrator’s apple tree and she insists on harvesting the apples as if they were hers. The narrator tries to stop her and her son Dan from picking them. Tries to do this as a pacifist would, only he finally punches out Dan. And then he walks away.
Now, if he’s going to stay on the land, the narrator insists in a written contract. And then his relationship with Mr. Sprouse becomes more formal, not as friendly. The story ends with the apple tree in question ruined by an early frost.
Comment: The narrator has come to the country to escape the meanness of people in the city. He discovers the meanness of the people in the country. RayS.
About the Author: “Born in 1925 in Cuba, Robert Granat was educated at Yale University. He is the author of numerous short stories and essays, two novels and a non-fiction work. For many ears he has been ‘reducing financial pressures by subsistence farming in Spanish-American villages in Northern New Mexico.’ “
Short Story International #30. Sylvia Tankel, Ed. February 1982, pp. 95-102.