LIFE – The Old Man and the Fig Tree

Yes, we do give a fig about keeping the posts rolling out. But to my embarrassment, my friend Hwee Hwee Laurence is proving more ‘fruitful’ than me. Her fig story brings to mind that rollicking good read, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared. The young think of the old as fossils just because they’re not up to tech or twerk, ignoring the wealth of wisdom and experience; follies and wonderments waiting to be coaxed out of them.


Over to Hwee Hwee in the commune of Duravel, south-west France:

“This morning, on my way to the bakery, I met an old man who asked me about a fig tree growing at the edge of our land.  He said that the figs from this tree are the biggest that he has ever seen and that they taste good too!

I told him that the fig tree is officially outside our land, and being at the side of the village path, we do not know who it really belongs to, but that we have often harvested the figs and nobody has ever complained.

He then asked if he could take a cutting, a side-shoot growing at the base, of the tree.

I looked at him.  This old man is more than 80 years old.  I know he is very independent and that he lives alone.  But he is old enough to have this device strapped to his wrist – something to help him call for medical emergency assistance should he feel unwell.  Now, does he think he will live long enough to enjoy the fruit of his labour?

So I asked him if it were not easier if he just picks as many figs as he wants to.  Certainly I or nobody else would mind.

He looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and said – But it is not just for me to pick the figs.  Good things such as this are worth spreading around.  I might not live to see my tree giving figs, but whoever living in my house then will get to enjoy what I have planted and what my garden is producing.

I do not need to preach about the moral of this simple story.  We just need to remember – that whatever we sow or do now will be the Future of our children.  Let us make sure that they have a bright and healthy one to look forward to.”

Chocolate Mint Figs

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

4 tbs fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

(Possible to use mint-flavoured chocolate if you cannot get fresh mint leaves)

Handful of almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped

24 fresh figs, cut in halves lengthwise

Preheat oven to 200C.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the chocolate chips, mint and almonds, stirring well.

Press a little of this mixture into each fig half.

Lightly spray or wipe a baking tray with vegetable oil.

Place figs on baking tray and bake for 15 min.

Serve warm or at room temp.


2 thoughts on “LIFE – The Old Man and the Fig Tree

  1. Well, this OLD man was never served the yummy-sounding chocolate mint figs. He did stuff his face full with the (indeed largest & sweetest he had ever seen) figs directly from the fig tree in H2’s garden. Thinking he could take a nap under the fig tree to aid the digestion, one of H2’s son convinced him (sigh, how could one say no to those puppy eyes) that a game of badminton would be a more effective digestive aid.
    Moral of my rambling: go visit Hwee2 to know what (kind of blissful life) you are missing….

    Charla Tan

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