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The Poor Farmer

Along time ago their lived a very poor farmer.  Now this farmer was so poor that he lived in a very small house, and could only afford one axe to cut  wood with.

On a cold Fall's day he decided to go out and cut some wood for his house.  He went into the forest beside a riverbank and began to chop at a tree.  As the farmer chopped away his axe slipped from his hands and fell into the river.  The farmer became overcome with grief and began to weep, as he was so poor he could not afford to buy another axe.

Now in this river lived a god, and hearing the farmer weep the god pitied him.  The god came out of the river and asked the farmer, "Why are you weeping?"  The farmer replied, "I lost my only axe, and I will be unable to cut any wood for me this winter."  The God then went into the river and then reappeared to the farmer with a Golden axe.  "This is your axe." the god of the river told the farmer.  The honest farmer replied, "No, No that is not my axe."

The river god then went back into the river and reappeared to the farmer, this time he brought with him a silver axe. "This is your axe." the god of the river told the farmer.  To which the honest farmer  replied again, "No, No that is not my axe."

The river god then went back into the river and reappeared to the farmer once again, this time he brought with him the farmer's axe. "This is your axe." the god of the river told the farmer.  To which the honest farmer  now yelled, "Yes, Yes that is my axe."

The river god then went back into the river and reappeared to the farmer, this time he brought with him a  gold axe, a silver axe, and the farmer's axe. "These are all yours.  You are worthy of all of these as you are an honest and truthful man."  The farmer then ran back to the village to tell the villagers his tale.

At the village a greedy farmer heard of the tale and decided that he could exploit the river god.  Early the next morning he ran to the river bank, and threw his axe into the river.  He then began to fake weeping so that the river god would appear.  

The river god hearing the farmer weep pitied him and appeared out of the water, and asked the farmer why he was weeping.  The farmer replied, "I lost my only axe, and I will be unable to cut any wood for me this winter."  The God then went into the river and then reappeared to the farmer with a Golden axe.  "This is your axe." the god of the river told the farmer. 

The Greedy farmer then said, "Yes, Yes that is my axe."  The river god then grew angry and said to him, "No this is not your axe, and you  clearly are not worthy of it."

The river god then went back into the river,  not even giving the greedy farmer the axe he threw into the river.

This was a lesson to the villagers that they should practice and love the truth.

 

Directly Related:

Being Truthful  Why is it the only way?  A Greek saying related to this Folk story!

 

Other Folk Tales:  

 

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