A young man was in the employ of a wealthy family that owned a large acreage.
Among his other duties, every single day he washed the household’s clothes, linens, and other textiles by going down to the river a few miles from the property.
He tended to be a person of even comportment; he did everything that he was told with haste, expressing very little outward emotion, but it was certain that he showed great care in the work that he did.
The wash was perhaps his favorite duty, since while the flow of the river washed the soil out of the clothes, he could sit down and stare at the movement of the water.
Sometimes a tree branch would flow by and he would see it move ever so slowly but deliberately from his periphery, to right there in front of him, and ending downstream and eventually out of sight.
Sometimes he could make a fish out beneath the surface, moving its fins in such a way where it was able to stay in place while the water flowed.
One day while he was at the river, he suddenly heard a loud crash in front of him.
Immediately looking up, he sees a large splash in front of him and soon after a high pitched cry for help.
Without thinking he swam out into the middle of the river with his basket, coming upon a little girl who had fell in. Gently placing her in the basket, they swim back to the shore; the current carrying them a good ways downstream from their original position.
When they get to shore, the man sees the little girl shivering, but since he did not have any dry clothes, he endeavored to make a fire in order to warm her up.
However, without the proper materials, he struggled to do it and by the time the sun was setting, understood that he was unable to do it before nightfall.
Instead, he took off his tunic and shawl and clothed the shivering girl, holding her close to his chest to keep her warm during the cold and dark of night.
Eventually the child’s shivering slows and stops completely at a point, but the man knowing his duty to protect, kept her close and stayed vigilant to his surroundings to keep the girl safe from harm.
After most of the night had past, the young man started to feel the heaviness of sleep; after a point, it became too much.
When he awoke at dawn, he rose in a daze of drowsiness, but it was soon replaced by panic when he realized that the girl was nowhere to be found, but feeling his arms and shoulders, he realized that he was wearing the clothes that he out on the little girl last evening.
Sitting under a nearby tree, he caught sight of his laundry basket.
In it, he was surprised to see his wash cleaned to dazzling brilliantness, well dried and folded, and on the very top of the pile,
...laid a perfectly fresh apple.