Wise God and Poor Man

Wise God and Poor Man

Wise God and Poor Man

      Once upon a time, when the Wise God who pretended himself as a poor traveler, walked about the earth amongst men, it once happened that he was tired and overtaken by the darkness before he could reach an inn.  Now there stood on the road before him two houses facing each other, the one was large and beautiful, however, the other was small and poor.  The large one belonged to a rich man, and the small one belonged to a poor man. (also readThe Cat and Son of Miller)

      Then the Wise God thought, “I shall be no burden to the rich man. I will stay the night with him”.  Then he knocked the rich man’s door. He opened the window and asked the stranger what he wanted.  The Wise God answered, “I only ask for a night’s lodging”.

      Then the rich man looked at the traveler from head to foot, and as the Wise God was wearing common clothes, and did not look like one who had much money in his pocket, he shook his head, and said, “No, I cannot take you in, my rooms are full of herbs and seeds.  And if I were to lodge everyone who knocked at my door, I might very soon go begging myself.  Go somewhere else for a lodging.” He then shut down the window and left the Wise God standing there.

      So the Wise God turned his back on the rich man, and went across to the small house and knocked the door. The poor man opened the little door and bade the traveler come in, and he said: “Pass the night with me, it is already dark. You cannot go any further to-night.”  This pleased the Wise God, and he went in. 

      The poor man’s wife also welcomed him, and said that he was to make himself at home and put up with what they had got. They had not much to offer him, but what they had they would give him with all their hearts.  Then she put the potatoes on the fire, and while they were boiling, she milked the goat, that they might have a little milk with them.  When the cloth was laid, the Wise God sat down with the man and his wife, and he enjoyed their coarse food, for there were happy faces at the table.  When they had had supper and it was bed-time, the woman called her husband apart and said, “listen, my husband, let us make up a bed of straw for ourselves tonight, and then the poor traveler can sleep in our bed and have a good rest, for he has been walking the whole day through, and that makes one weary. 

      The poor man said: “With all my heart, I will go and offer it to him.”

      And he went to the stranger and invited him. The Wise God did what the poor man offered. he laid down in their bed, while they themselves lay on some straw on the ground.

      The following morning, they got up before daybreak, and made as good a breakfast as they could for the guest.  When the sun shone in through the little window, and the Wise God had got up, he again ate with them, and then prepared to set out on his journey.

      But as he was standing at the door he turned round and said, as you are so kind and good, you may wish three things for yourselves and I will grant them. 

      Then the man said: “What else should I wish for but eternal happiness, and that we two, as long as we live, may be healthy and have every day our daily bread.  For the third wish, I do not know what to have.”

      And the Wise God said to him: “Will you wish for a new house instead of this old one?”

      “Oh, yes”, said the man. “If I can have that, too, I should like it very much.” 

      And the Wise God fulfilled his wish, and changed their old house into a new one, again gave them his blessing, and went on.

      The sun was high when the rich man got up and leaned out of his window and saw, on the opposite side of the way, a new clean-looking house with red tiles and bright windows where the old hut used to be.  He was very much astonished, and called his wife and said to her, “Tell me, what can have happened?”

      What would the rich man and his wife do knowing the new clean-looking house opposite side of their house? For the answer of this question, let’s go on the next part of the Wise God and Poor Man. (Read the next part entitled : Rich Man and Wise God)

To be continued

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