Short Stories

The three brothers and the pot with gold

Once upon a time, a peasant lived with three children. Among peasants, having three children would have been a blessing had it not been for these three children to have little time for field work. The three were strong, healthy, and despite their laziness, good boys. Their only defect was that they hated working, which on a farm was a considerable one.

When they were young, they used to sit under a tree and watch the leaves change color. When they grew a little older, they could see the girls passing by the farm, but they were too lazy to go out to meet them. When they became boys, they talked endlessly about nothing, and sometimes when they felt like it, they might go fishing. However, if they caught a lot of fish, they were able to leave them behind because it was so hard for them to take them all home.

The neighbors shook their heads as they watched them lie under the trees in the yard.

– Why don’t you help your father on Thursday? They asked.

– Dad likes his job and, while working, supports us. Why should we deny him that pleasure?

The brothers laughed and eventually fell asleep.

Dad did his best to get them to work, but to no avail. The years passed, and finally the worn and tired old man found himself on his deathbed.

– My children, the end of my work is approaching. I will leave you soon, but I fear for your future.

For the first time, the three boys woke up from their apathy and exchanged worried glances. The elder knelt beside his father and asked:

– Father, give us your advice and your blessing. What should we do?

The father looked at his sons and said slowly:

“My children, when your mother and I were young, we saved very hard. We knew the hard times would come and bring the wolf to our door. We did our best to drop a gold coin every month in a small jar that we buried in the yard. As time went on and you were born, we could no longer put money aside and soon forgot the pot with gold. I don’t remember where, but somewhere in the yard, or in the field by the house, a pot of gold is buried. I hope you find him and he saves you all.

And with these words the old man exhaled his last breath.

The three sons wept for their father and the pain kept the memory alive in their hearts for a long time. But soon they became hungry, and the little food and money that their father had at home quickly disappeared.

“Our father spoke of a pot of gold,” said the middle brother. “I suggest we start digging around the house and try to find the gold to survive.”

The other two agreed.

For the first time in their lives, the three brothers began to work. They began to work with shovels and were digging the earth more and more. By the end of the first day, his hands were blistered and his back hurt. Where muscle must have been there was pain, but no gold was found.

They started again the next day. They dug all week long until the yard was revolted and the earth was fertile and dark, yet they found no gold. They dug deeper and found nothing. Then they began to dig the field by the house. When they found large rocks and stones, they would roll them aside to build walls with them. Soon the field was dug, fertile and dark as the yard, but they found no gold anyway.

The brothers looked around and at last the elder said:

– It’s a shame we lose all this work. Let’s plant a vine here and try to get hands on business.

So the three brothers planted a vineyard and also began to cultivate a small garden. The grapes grew well and they prospered.

One day they sat on the porch after a hard day working in the vineyard, drinking coffee and contemplating their work. The vines were laden with grapes and the garden filled their table and they still had products to sell.

The years went by and they married, raised families, and taught their children to love and enjoy working.

One day, when the three brothers had reached middle age and some white hair began to appear on their beards, they sat on the porch overlooking the field.

“There was indeed gold in the land,” said the elder. – Our father was a wise man.

“Very wise,” the brothers nodded. Dan Keding Stories of Hope and Spirit Little Rock, August House Publishers, 2004

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