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Johnny Appleseed

There once was a man named John Chapman.  He was born in the eastern part of the United States. As a child he loved the flowers that grow on apple trees in the spring.  He would pick them and smell them. Sometimes he would eat them.  When the apples came, he loved those even more.  

When John Chapman grew up he went to school. He learned a great deal.  His family wanted him to make lots of money. But John has other ideas.  He had never lost his strong love for apples. He wanted to find a way for people all over the country to have apples.

By this time, the Chapmans had moved toward the west, to Pennsylvania.  A great many apple trees were growing there.  In the fall, the apples were pressed to make juice. John went around to the apple pressers.  He asked to keep what was left after the juice was made.  In the presses were apple seeds.  He took the seeds and laid them out to dry in the sun.  

The next spring  he packed the dried seeds into big grain sacks. Then he set out toward the west and south.  He has one idea in mind- to plant those apple seeds.  He made it his job in life to plant the trees that would bear apples for the people. 

John didn’t wear shoes.  He dressed in the empty grain sacks.  He slept under the stars.  He cooked his meals over an open fire.  When it was time to move on, he put his cooking pan on his head.  That was his hat.   In all kinds of weather, he walked along with the sack of apple seeds.  People began calling him Johnny Appleseed.

He would stop in this place or that to plant a grove of apple trees. He would wait to make sure the seeds came up.  Then he would walk on to another place.  Sometime later he would come back to check on the new trees.  He enjoyed tasting the apples, knowing they were there because of him.  Over the years, Johnny Appleseed covered a lot of ground.  Apple trees grew wherever he had been.  

Next time you eat an apple think of Johnny Appleseed. Some people say it is because of him that apples grew almost everywhere in the United States.



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