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Shepherd's Purse

In the days before Richard III  reformed the law, a king could raise taxes, for any cause, without redress,  and without the people seeing any benefits.  A story was told about one king, his taxes, and the plight of a poor shepherd. 

A king decided to raise taxes throughout the land, and to further tax the poor in order to support his new war. To this end, he sent tax collectors out to collect the monies.  On hearing that he was to be taxed, a shepherd went out into the field  clutching his small purse of hard saved coins, and fell on his knees praying. 

"If the king,  who already has everything he wants, takes my one purse of coin, then his children will get fatter still, whilst my children will surely starve, I therefore beg of you angels to take pity on this poor shepherd, and help me keep my meagre  coin from out of the king's hands.

With that, the shepherd placed his small purse under the hedgerow.  Because they live close to nature, and rarely take more than they need, shepherds have been traditionally blessed by nature. The next morning, the tax collector arrived, demanding to see how much money the shepherd had.  Try as he might, the shepherd found he couldn't lie about having a small purse of coin, so he reluctantly led the tax collector to the hedgerow.  But there was no purse to be found, so the taxman left having taken nothing.  As the troubled shepherd returned to the hedgerow thinking he had been robbed; he encountered one of the little people.  "Look again, shepherd!" the sprite urged him.  The Shepherd looked, and there on a wild plant, he saw his purse, safely growing where no tax man could take it. The Shepherd's Purse is a promise to all  good shepherds, that they will never be without, and never starve. 

If you look closely at the seed pods of this common weed, you will see that they do look like little coin purses. Open one up, and  you will find them full of tiny golden coin- like seeds.

Here is my shepherd's purse. a few pages of stories and folklore, the only treasure I have to share.