Though he found no initial success, he desired the joy of farming the first apprentice had so readily found. Unwilling to return to his old training, he convinced some of his friends that his new way of planting seeds was a valuable way to farm. Soon many others in the community started planting seeds in piles of other seeds. Some educated friends argued on his behalf, saying that others had done this before, and even that some animals were known to have tried to plant seeds in this way. So loud and convincing were their arguments that community leaders decreed that both ways of farming were equal to one another, and followers of the second apprentice punished any unwilling to support the decree.
When the first apprentice reminded him that planting seeds in other seeds did not allow them to sprout, the second apprentice decided that perhaps sprouting seeds wasn’t really an important part of farming. After all, many of the seeds the first apprentice planted the traditional way never sprouted either. And, if the second apprentice wanted plants he could buy then from someone else, perhaps even have another farmer sprout his seeds for him.
Desiring to share the happiness he had, the first apprentice offered to help the second return to his original training. Convinced he had already discovered the joy of farming, the second apprentice spoke of his fulfilling and happy life, and accused the first apprentice of ignorance, bigotry, hatred, and fear of new ideas. Yet he often felt unfulfilled, as though he was missing something. Always helping others understand the evil nature of the first apprentice and others like him seemed to help him feel better at times, but he could never seem to convince enough people—at least, not to his satisfaction. The resentment and anger he felt toward the first apprentice grew each day.
One day while scanning his purchased plants, his former Master came to see him. The former apprentice tried to hide his sorrow and anger, yet the Master seemed to know exactly how he felt, almost as if he had experienced it himself. Not having spoken to the Master since he left, the former apprentice assumed the Master would be angry with him. Instead the Master spoke of happy times in the past and also in the present, of how he desired to share those happy times with his former apprentice. The apprentice saw in the Master the joy he had always desired. The Master revealed that it was He who had sent the first apprentice to offer help and advice after they had separated. The Master told him he had saved his former farmland, and if he would come back and push on despite his natural limitations, he would help him become a master farmer. After a long embrace, the Master went home.
Though he did not fully understand how or why, the former apprentice knew the Master lived the life of joy and love that he himself hadn’t been able to obtain. Though he knew that returning to his Master’s training would be challenging and full of difficulty, he left behind all he had become, and was welcomed back to his Master’s home.