An argosy of fables/Hindoo fables/The Seeds and the Wheat

THE SEEDS AND THE WHEAT

THERE was once a man who entered a field of Wheat and stole some of the ripe grain. The owner of the field had the thief arrested, and demanded why he had stolen the Wheat. The thief replied: "My Lord, I have not stolen any Wheat belonging to you. You planted only the Seeds, and what I took was the ripe Wheat. Why do you call me a thief?"

The two men went before a Judge and asked him: "Which of us is right and which is wrong?" The Judge answered: "The one who sowed the Seed is right, and he who did not sow the Seed is wrong. The Seed is the origin of the Wheat. How should he who did not sow have any right to the Wheat that grew from it?"

(From Les Avadanes. By Stanislas Julien.)