A Norvegian tale
A peasant couple lived in a small isolated farm in the mountains. The husband was a good man and his wife loved him dearly. One day, a violent storm destroyed the roof of their small home. To fix it, they decided by mutual agreement to sell their only donkey. The next morning, the farmer set off with his beast. Halfway, a man who went, like him, to the market to sell his horse, joined him. The stranger offered to exchange his horse against the donkey.
“Why not? Horse makes a great service. I can plow my field and earn money to fix the roof” says the farmer
In this reflection, he exchanged his mule against the horse and went back to his house. After a moment, having seen the animal trip repeatedly, he realized that the horse was blind.
“Poor thing, it must be painful to move on this rocky road without seeing” he said caressing her gently
The farmer went to the side of the road so the horse can graze. Soon, a man came dragging a cow behind him.
“This is a beautiful beast” he said to the farmer looking at the horse
“Yes, but the animal is blind” replied the farmer
“I just need a horse for easy works. It will do the trick, even blind! I'll gladly trade it against my cow” continued the man
The deal was concluded and they both went their way. However a little further, finding that the cow was advancing very slowly, the peasant examined the animal carefully and realized that the cow had a hind leg shorter than the other.
A man walking with a goat in his arms asked the farmer why he looked worried.
“I acquired this cow to find now that it is lame. The way back home is still long and the poor animal suffer walking”
“I have long needed a cow! Take my goat instead” said the stranger
The farmer agreed and went on his way, the little goat in his arms. Having walked for a while, the farmer tired, put the goat down. But this one, shivering, had barely the strength to stand.
“Poor little goat, you're sick!”
Seeing a farm in the distance, he went there to seek help. A veterinarian woman looked at the animal.
“I know what disease it suffers; However it will take me a few days” she said
“My home is far. I can not wait” replied the peasant
“In this case, take this rooster instead. I will keep the goat” the woman said
It was now the afternoon. The sun was shining high in the sky. The farmer felt the nag of hunger, but he had no money on him. At the next village, he sold the rooster for a coin and purchased a hearty meal. Enjoying in advance the feast he would do, the farmer sat in the shade of a tree. As he was about to eat the first bite, he jumped when he heard a voice behind him.
“Please brave man. I’ve hardly eaten anything for several days, and I do not even know if I will eat tomorrow”
The farmer turned and saw an old beggar leaning against the tree. Without a moment's hesitation, he sat the old man and put the full plate in front of him. The beggar joyfully ate the meal. Then he looked at the peasant and said
“You have a tender heart, your day must have gone well for you to be so kind to a beggar like me”
The farmer smiled a told the story of the day
“But your wife will be terribly mad at you” said the beggar
“Everything I do is good in my wife’s eyes” reassured the farmer
“If it’s true, and your wife is as kindhearted as your are, then you are a blessed man, my son” replied the beggar
Felling happy and satistfy, the farmer took the way home. The peasant’s wife was waiting for her husband on the doorstep. After kissing her tenderly, the man told the story of his day.
“Well I never sold the donkey. I exchanged it against a horse” the man began
“Against a horse? What a great idea! It will be very useful to plow our field” replied his wife
“Wait, I traded the horse against a cow” said the farmer
“You see, I would have done exactly the same as you. A good cow will give us fresh milk every morning” the wife replied
“Yes, but I do not have a cow. I exchanged it against a goat” continued the farmer
“You did very well. Goat milk is more nutritious. I can do all kinds of cheeses” replied the woman
“But I do not have a goat. I took a rooster in place” said her husband
“Wow, this is even better! A rooster sing every morning to get up with the sun” replied his wife
“Listen, I have no rooster. I was very hungry. I sold the rooster for money and bought some food” said the man
“And you were right. I was very worried that you’d stayed all day without eating. The road is long, you had to be tired” replied his wif
“Wait, I was about to start my meal when one hungry beggar appeared. I gave him all the food then I went home” said the peasant
“You could not do better. I'm so glad I married a man like you! Come now, let me serve you something to eat. You must be very hungry” replied his wife kissing him
The next morning, the man got up early to get to work. When he openned the door of his house, he was amazingly surprised to see a nice donkey, a horse that was not blind, a cow that was not crippled, a little healthy goat, a beautiful rooster, and, in the middle of the court, a silver coin revealed by the rays of the rising sun. He called his wife, who smiled at the sight. She asked snuggling against him
“Said, who was this beggar to whom you gave your meal?”