Posts Tagged ‘short story’

Paying three times for the same thing

January 5, 2012
farmland in the Punjab - Ken Crane

farmland in the Punjab - Ken Crane

There is a legend in the region of Punjab, about a thief who broke into a farm and stole two hundred onions. But before he could make his escape, he was caught by the farmer and led before the judge.

The magistrate passed sentence: the payment of ten gold pieces.

But the man alleged that the fine was too high, so the judge offered him two alternatives: to be whipped twenty times, or eat the two hundred onions.

The thief chose to eat the two hundred onions.

When he had eaten twenty-five, his eyes were already filled with tears, and his stomach was burning up like the fires of hell.

Since there were still 175 to go, and he knew he would never bear this punishment, he begged to be thrashed twenty times.

The judge agreed. But when the whip tore into his back for the tenth time, he implored for the punishment to be stopped, for he could not stand the pain.

His wish was granted, but the thief still had to pay the ten pieces of gold.

– If you had accepted the fine, you would have avoided eating the onions and wouldn’t have suffered with whip – said the judge.

– But you preferred the more difficult path, not understanding that, when you have done wrong, it is better to pay up quickly and forget the matter.

Posted by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

The city on the other side

December 12, 2011
city on the other side - Ken Crane

city on the other side - Ken Crane

A hermit from the monastery of Sceta approached Abbot Theodore:

‘I know exactly what the purpose of life is. I know what God asks of man and I know the best way to serve Him. And yet, even so, I am incapable of doing everything I should be doing in order to serve the Lord.’

The Abbot remained silent for a long time. Then he said:

‘You know that there is a city on the other side of the ocean, but you have not yet found the ship or placed your baggage on board and crossed the sea.

‘Why then bother talking about it or about how we should walk its streets?

‘It is not enough to know what life is for or to know the best way to serve God.

‘Put your ideas into practice and the road will reveal itself to you.’

Posted by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

The Wooden Bowl

February 7, 2011

Narrated by Hildegarde Follon.

The Clever Judge

January 17, 2011

A rich man lost a cloth in which he had sewn into a great sum of money. He made known the loss and offered a reward of 100 crowns for who so ever would return to him his lost property.

An honest man made himself known to the rich man bringing with him the cloth in which was sewn the coins.

The rich man was not an honest fellow and saw a way he could cheat the man out of his reward.

He opened up the cloth and counted the coins. I can only find 700 coins he declared, you must have opened up the cloth and claimed your one hundred coins as there was originally 800 coins. Not that be a problem as I promised 100 crowns as a reward.

The honest man did not mind the loss of the reward, but he did mind the loss of his reputation.

They appeared before a wise judge. Being wise he quickly appraised himself of the situation.

Both stuck to their story. The judge got them each to swear a solemn oath that what they were saying was true. He then gave his ruling.

To the honest man he said, since the rich man has lost a cloth containing 800 crowns, what you have found cannot be his. I recommend you take it home, keep it in a safe place until such time as its rightful owner should turn up to claim it.

To the rich man he said, as you lost a cloth containg 800 crowns this that the honest man found cannot be yours as it contains 700 crowns. I recommend that you go home, be patient and your cloth containg 800 crowns will turn up.

Taken from The Treasure Chest (1881), a collection of pithy comic anecdotes, mysteries and moral tales full of sanity, wit and good humour by Johann Peter Hebel and read by Mark Williams on BBC Radio 4 (Sunday 16 January 2011).