time ago there was a very poor man who had a large family, who was blessed
with a beautiful kind wife and many loving children. Now this poor man
would routinely have small celebrations, and when they did what a joyous
time they had!
Near this poor family lived a rich family
which consisted of a husband and a wife. The rich family even though
they were very wealthy had no celebrations, and were quite unhappy.
The rich family could not understand how with all their wealth they could
not be happy, nor could they understand how the poor family without no
wealth could be happy? This joy that the poor family shared was the
greatest mystery to the rich family that could not understand it in the
One day as the rich man passed the poor man's
house he stopped and spoke to the poor man saying, "How is it poor man
that you are so happy even though you are so poor?' The poor man
looked puzzled and was quite surprised at such an unexpected question and
answered with a question, "How can I not be happy with all my loving
children in my house?"
The rich man now realized how he too could be
happy and said, "Aha! Now I can be happy to poor man! You have so many
children give me just one of your many children and I shall give you the
greatest section of my wealth." The poor man thought and thought
and finally he decided that he would give him one of his children. The
child that would be adopted would reside with a still wealthy family with
far greater means than he would ever be able to give it, and the remaining
children would now be well off as well. Thus the poor man reluctantly
gave up one of his children.
The rich man now having one of the poor man's
children was very happy. The rich family would now have many
celebrations, and had become overcome with bliss. Though the poor
man's family had acquired wealth with it had left all its' happiness.
The whole family of the poor man longed for the missing child and no
celebration was the same as those previous!
The poor man then called upon the rich man
and said to him, "I want my child back, for even though I lost one
child and have many, the loss of the one plagues my family." The rich
man responded by then saying, "If I return your child you understand
that you must return all the wealth that I have given you." The poor
man was overjoyed and said, "Yes, Yes! I will give you all your wealth
all that I want is that one child that you now have as yours."
Upon the return of the child to the poor family joy return once more, and
now sadness once again returned to the rich family. The rich man once
again had his wealth, and the poor man his family!
Origin: Various versions of this folk tale
exist throughout Greek communities around the world.
Man and Poor Man · Learn about
the directly related saying about the rich man and the poor man.