The short story, Spilt Cherry Tree, was written by Jesse Stuart. In the beginning of the story, Dave and his classmates went with Professor Herbert on a field trip for biology class. They were all searching for lizards, bugs, snakes, frogs, flowers, and plants. Dave and five of his classmates had spotted a lizard in the old cherry tree up the hill, so all six of them ran up the tree after it, and the tree broke down. Eif Crabtree, the owner of the tree was plowing when it happened and he ran up and go tall the boys' names. Dave's five classmates who broke the tree with him were all able to get the dollar that they owed Mr.
Crabtree, but Dave knew he wouldn't be able to get his. Professor Herbert kept Dave after school and told him that he paid Dave's dollar, but he would have to work four hours at the school to earn the full dollar, which means he would be getting paid twenty-five cents and hour to help the janitor. Dave really didn't mind staying after school, but he knew that he would get a whipping from his father if he was two hours late getting home. Dave told Professor Herbert that he would rather have the professor whip him with a switch so he could go on home and help his dad with chores because he knew his dad would whip him if he was two hours late. Dave was also afraid that his father would make him quit school because he was a little old fashioned and didn't understand the school system of that time. Dave hurried home after he completed his two hours of work for that day.
As he assumed, his father, Luster, questioned him about where he had been. Dave told his father about the field trip and having to work to pay the dollar, but his father didn't believe he was telling the truth, so he said he was going to go down to the school the next day. He begged and begged his father not to go to the school, but his father refused to listen to anything Dave said. The next morning, after chores and breakfast, Dave and his father went to the high school. Luster told Professor Herbert the same story Dave told him, and the Professor told him the story was accurate.
His father couldn't understand why they would go out looking for bugs and stuff when they should be inside learning from the books. Professor Herbert told him that there were certain courses of study that had to be complete for the state, but he still didn't understand, so Professor Herbert requested that Luster stay all day at the high school. Luster and the professor stayed together the whole day and they observed the different classes. At the end of the school day, Dave and his father finished working for Dave's dollar and then went home. Dave's father told Dave that he got along good with professor Herbert, and he told Dave that he was very well off at the school, so he should continue to learn the things that he never had the chance to learn.
Luster Sexton is a very hard working sixty-five year old man. He worked very hard all of his life on the farm, and he was not very well educated. He wanted what was best for his family. He wanted his children to work and grow to be honest individuals and be able to pay their debts, not take handouts from people. Luster didn't really understand why Dave's teachers took the students out of the school to learn, but after he spent the day with Professor Herbert at the school, he realized that the world has changed a lot. He was able to see that it was necessary for them to go out and find living things to do experiments, and Professor Herbert was able to show him a few experiments.
He also explained the different learning in the different classes, like math and biology. Even though Luster didn't like the way Professor Herbert taught in the beginning of the story, by the end he was friends with Professor Herbert, and he understood why he taught the way he did.