Colin was homeless—a fact known by all the people living in his small town. He was a big guy, he was at least a head taller most of the townspeople so he really stood out in more ways than one.
One day he was wandering along an abandoned path looking for berries when he stumbled upon a beautiful, strange-looking tree. It was taller than Colin but its branches were low enough that he could climb them. The flowers looked interesting, so he climbed on up, praying that they were edible.
What he found growing on the tree was an amazing surprise—it was money! Not just dollar bills, either, but $50 bills and $20 bills. Colin couldn’t believe his luck. He pulled a couple of bills down and ran back to town, vowing never to tell another soul where the tree was located.
The first thing Colin tried to do was buy a meal, but the waiter turned him away the moment he walked inside.
“Shoo, shoo. Get out,” the restaurant owner yelled from his back office.
So Colin left. He went to the tailor to see if he could purchase a new suit, in the hopes that a new look would fix his appearance and he’d be allowed to buy some food.
But, once again, Colin was told to leave the store—and this time he was accused of stealing the money! The tailor threatened to call the cops if Colin ever set foot in the shop again.
So he left. He decided to go to the local grocery and buy a load of bread. Whenever Colin had money, he spent in on bread at the local grocery, so he had high hopes for his visit.
Yet again, Colin was turned away. He tried to tell the shop owner about the money tried while he begged for food, but it didn’t work.
The shop owner scoffed and said, “Money doesn’t grow on trees, Colin. I know that, you know that, everyone knows that. Get out of my store with that fake money.”
So Colin left, devastated, and headed back down the abandoned path to the money tree. He sat against the trunk of the tree, crying quietly about the state of his reputation.
How could they think I was lying? Or, worse yet, that I was a thief! he thought.
He slumped down further against the magical tree and ate the only thing he could find for food—the money flowers.