"Don Ignacio trusts Juan, his ranch foreman, to care for his herd and his prized apple tree. When don Ignacio's friend don Arturo boasts that he can make Juan Verdades tell a lie, don Ignacio wagers his ranch against his friend's on his overseer's honesty. Don Arthur and his daughter Araceli plot to use her beauty to captivate the foreman into deceit. When Juan's love for Araceli causes him to strip the apple tree and deliver the fruit to her, it appears that don Arturo has won the bet. But Juan's clever admission to his master and Araceli's own plans for the future provide a surprise twist in this retelling of a traditional folktale."
My young daughters were enthralled with the story. They were rooting for Juan Verdades to tell the truth and save his master's ranch. The 9 year old grasped the storyline and the moral completely. Though a bit deep for the 5 year old, she easily sat through the whole telling and got the message that those who tell the truth will be rewarded.
This book spans the ages well. I'll be handing it over to my 14 year old to read today. Juan admits his guilt to his employer in a cleaver way by using a rhyme which my 9 year old studied for minutes after the reading in an attempt to tackle each clue:
"Some fool picked your apples and gave them away."
"The father of the fool is my father's father's son. The fool has no sister and no brother. His child would call my father 'grandfather.' He's ashamed that he did what was done."
Excellent storyline. Excellent example. Excellent training in character and virtue.