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Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)

Perry 119 (Syntipas 32)

Somebody saw a gardener irrigating his vegetables and said to him, 'How is it that wild plants, without having been planted and without having been cultivated, spring up each season, while the plants that you yourself plant in the garden frequently wither from lack of water?' The gardener replied, 'The wild plants are cared for by divine providence, which is sufficient in and of itself, while our own plants must depend for their care on human hands.'
This story shows that a mother's nurturing is stronger than a stepmother's attentions.

Note: In another version of this story, (Life of Aesop 37), it is Aesop who explains to an ignorant gardener why it is that weeds grow so quickly.

Source: Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs. Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
NOTE: New cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.