A Story

Once, there was a poor man in a village who had no money for his daughter’s wedding. Where to find the money? Borrow it of course.

Remember, there were no banks and credit cards then. So he went and he asked his rich neighbor:

“Efendi, I desperately need money for my daughter’s wedding. Would you lend me some?”

“Of course” The rich nice man answered (already taken ladies, back off) “What are neighbors for? Here are the keys to the safe. Go, open it, and take as much money as you need and bring it back when you can. This will be your safe from now on.”

The poor man, not believing his ears, went to the safe, got as much money as he needed, (and a bit extra because you know florists), closed the safe and returned the keys to the owner.

The wedding was a grandiose affair, and it was talked about in the village for months afterwards. So much, that all the villagers expected another wonderful party when it was the turn of the second daughter. What could the poor man do but go back to his rich and good hearted neighbor?

“Efendi, my benefactor, I know I still owe you money, but my second daughter’s wedding is coming and I have to surpass the first one and I have no money! Would you help me out this time too?”

“Of course!” The rich man answered. “Here, take the keys and go to the safe. You know where it is.”

Because the second wedding was going to be the mother of all weddings with castle walls built out of roast lamb on spits, and moats filled with raki, the man took all the gold he found in the safe this time.  The wedding was soo good, everybody had a hangover for a month after, and they were very happy that photo cameras were not invented yet.

A year passed, and (you know it’s coming) it was the son’s turn to have a wedding. How could the poor man give his only son and heir less off a wedding that he had given his daughters? So on he went to the benefactor again.

“Efendi, this is the last time, I promise. I have no more kids to marry off, my daughter in law is very industrious, and if you give me money this time too, we will definitely repay you by the end of the year.”

The rich man gave the keys to his neighbor without the slightest hesitation. The poor man run to the safe and opened it only to find it empty!!! There was no money in it. He searched behind another cushion, to see that maybe he had confused safes, but there was nothing. He went back to the rich man.

“Efendi, there was NO GOLD in the safe!”

“How is it possible?” The rich man said “Did you check well?”

“Yes, of course!” The poor man answered. “I swear to you there is no money there. What could have possibly happened?”

“Well, pardon me my friend, but did you put any money back after you borrowed it?”

“No, efendi, I did not.”

“Then how do you expect to find money there now?

So the poor man went home and they had yogurt and cornbread for the son’s wedding, and his mother sang after drinking the dregs of the prune raki. When the bride heard her future mother’s in-law singing, she turned her horse and ran off with the circus.

 This was one of my grandfather’s most favorite stories, and one he used to make sure I paid back all my 5 lek debts from my friends, or that I borrowed as little as possible. Unfortunately, my Credit cards have proved to be extremely generous rich neighbors.

Also, since it is Valentine, remember to replenish what has been freely given, because it is not infinite, contrary to what you might think.

I bid you  good night



3 thoughts on “A Story

  1. ahh my maternal grandfather, the smartest man in the universe. i miss him so much. he was the one who insisted i love my american cousins and who opened a savings account for me. but i liked books in shelves better than money in the bank so now i have learned to make psychological omelets, or art history goulag.
    please never ever make soup of sci-fi novels of robert heinlinen. you will get salmonella.

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