The following summer, fruit began to appear. But they didn't grow as large as expected, and weren't the pink colour of a victoria plum. Smaller, harder and purple, they were rather sour eaten raw, though very tasty when cooked.
So the tree we had wasn't a victoria after all.
Even today, unless you're going to do some chemical genetic test, the only way to correctly identify some plants is to wait for the fruit to appear. It's the fruit that tells you what the tree is.
A good person, Jesus tells us, produces good things from the treasury of a good heart. But the heart is hidden, and we don't know its nature until we see the outcome, the upshot, the follow through, the end product.
Jesus, we suppose, could see into people's hearts. But maybe even he only had a partial view. We've heard how he guessed what the pharisees were thinking, as they sat and judged him. But did he know what Judas Iscariot was like, when he chose him as one of the Twelve? Or did he, like the rest of us, have to wait patiently to see what sort of fruit would eventually come forth from the cloistered core of a man who could have been either pure, or evil?
We can't change our plum tree. Doesn't matter really, it makes nice jam.
But can we change our hearts?