Rich Man and Wise God
The following day after the Wise God fulfilled the poor man’s wish to change the poor man’s old house into a new one, it made the rich man curious so the story of Rich Man and Wise God began. (Read the previous story entitled: Wise God and Poor Man)
The sun was moving highly when the rich man got up and leaned out of his window and saw that on the opposite side of the way there was 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? Last night there was a miserable little hut standing there, and today there is a beautiful new house. You have to run over and see how that has come to pass.”
So his wife went and asked the poor man, and he said to her: “Yesterday evening a traveler came here and asked for a night’s lodging, and this morning when he took leave of us, he granted us three wishes – eternal happiness, health during this life and our daily bread as well, and besides this, a beautiful new house instead of our old hut.”
When the rich man’s wife heard this, she ran back in haste and told her husband how it had happened.
The rich man said: “I could tear myself to pieces. If I had but known that. That traveler came to our house too, and wanted to sleep here, and I sent him away.”
“Quick”, said his wife, “Get on your horse. You can still catch the man up, and then you must ask to have three wishes granted to you too.”
The rich man followed the good counsel and galloped away on his horse, and soon came up with the Wise God. He spoke to him softly and pleasantly, and begged him not to take it amiss that he had not let him in directly. He was looking for the front-door key, and in the meantime the stranger had gone away. If he returned the same way, he had to come and stayed with him.
“Yes”, said the Wise God. “If I ever come back again, I will do so.”
Then the rich man asked if might not wish for three things too, as his neighbor had done.
“Yes”, said the Wise God, he might, but it would not be to his advantage, and he had better not wish for anything. But the rich man thought that he could easily ask for something which would add to his happiness, if he only knew that it would be granted.
So the Wise God said to him: “Ride home, then, and three wishes which you shall make, shall be fulfilled.”
The rich man had now gained what he wanted, so he rode home, and began to consider what he should wish for. As he was thus thinking he let the bridle fall, and the horse began to caper about, so that he was continually disturbed in his meditations, and could not collect his thoughts at all. He patted its neck, and said, gently, “Calm up”, but the horse only began new tricks.
Then at last he was angry, and cried quite impatiently, “I wish your neck was broken.”
Directly he had said the words, down the horse fell on the ground, and there it lay dead and never moved again. And thus was his first wish fulfilled. As he was miserly by nature, he did not like to leave the harness lying there. So he cut it off, and put it on his back. And now he had to go on foot.
He said: “I have still two wishes left.” And comforted himself with that thought.
And now as he was walking slowly through the sand, and the sun was burning hot at noon, he grew quite bad-tempered and angry. The saddle hurt his back, and he had not yet any idea what to wish for.
“If I were to wish for all the riches and treasures in the world”, he said to himself, “I should still to think of all kinds of other things later on. I know that, beforehand. But I will manage so that there is nothing at all left me to wish for afterwards.”
Then he sighed and said, “Ah, if I were but that Bavarian peasant, who likewise had three wishes granted to him, and knew quite well what to do, and in the first place wished for a great deal of beer, and in the second for as much beer as he was able to drink, and in the third for a barrel of beer into the bargain.” Many a time he thought he had found it, but then it seemed to him to be, after all, too little.
On his way home, he thought what his second wish. Then it came into his mind, what an easy life his wife had, for she stayed at home in a cool room and enjoyed herself.
This really did vex him, and before he was aware, he said, “I just wish she is sitting there on this saddle, and cannot get off it, instead of my having to drag it along on my back.”
And as the last word was spoken, the saddle disappeared from his back, and he saw that his second wish had been fulfilled. Then he really did feel hot.
He began to run and wanted to be quite alone in his own room at home, to think of something really big for his last wish. But when he arrived there and opened the parlor-door, he saw his wife sitting in the middle of the room on the saddle, crying and complaining, and quite unable to get off it.
So he said, “Do bear it, and I will wish for all the riches on earth for you, only stay where you are.”
She, however, called him a fool, and said, “What good will all the riches on earth do me, if I am to sit on this saddle. You have wished me on it, so you must help me off.”
So whether he would or not, he was forced to let his third wish be that she should be quit of the saddle, and able to get off it, and immediately the wish was fulfilled. So he got nothing by it but vexation, trouble, abuse, and the loss of his horse. But the poor people lived contentedly, quietly, and piously until their happy death.
That’s all the story of the Wise God and Poor Man and the Rich Man and Wise God. (also read : The Legend of Kastoba Lake)