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Folk Tales: 

 

The Tree:

Along time ago near Mistra there was a wondrous and large tree that overlooked the plain of Sparta.  Now this was not an ordinary tree,  it was said to be the largest tree in the whole world. Unfortunately it no longer exists in our day as some careless fool burnt it by accident in days long past.

During the Ottoman occupation there was a Governor who wanted a feast in his honor.  The Governor ordered that his feast was to occur in the location that overlooked the plain.  When the food was ready and the festivities had begun,  he sat down to eat.  

The Governor had with him a young Christian Sheppard boy who was his servant. The young servant gazing from this wondrous position could see the beautiful plain of Sparta that was surrounded  by mountains  and interlinking  rivers, and he sighed.  The Governor saw the boy sigh and  asked him "What is it that makes you sigh?".  "What is there not to sigh about?" the Sheppard boy replied  "These areas were ours once, and you have taken them from us by force.  I have hope in God that what is said will come true, that after many years and ages these areas will be ours once more."  The Governor became enraged and said,  "Do you see this spit that was used to cook the food I  ate?"   The Governor then shoved the spit into the ground and told the boy "The same chance this spit has to become a tree and grow branches  your people have to become free.. and liberate this land from us."

The next day a miracle happened, a miracle that seemed to indicate that there would be a day when the Sheppard's people would be free.  Out of the wood that the Governor  stuck into the ground sprouted a beautiful tree.  The miraculous growth of the tree went against the words of the Governor, and the people now new that this tree prophesized a day when they would be free..

This myth was used to bring hope to the Greek people during the time of the cruel 400 years of Turkish rule.  It indicates that there is hope in all circumstances even in times where it seems that no hope exists.

 

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