Folktales of the Jews - Vol. 2

By Dan Ben-Amos | Go to book overview

50
The Three Young Men

TOLD BY NAḤUM PELZ TO
HIS DAUGHTER, ḤANNAH PELZ

Once upon a time, there were three young men, orphans left to their own devices. Wanting to earn an honorable living, they wandered from village to village in search of work, but could not find anything to do.

One day, when they were in the forest, they met an old man. "What are you doing in the forest?" he asked them.

"We have been looking for work for many days, but in vain. We have passed through many villages but have yet to find any employment."

The old man agreed to be like a father to them and support them. The four wandered through the forest until they reached a clean white hut. They stopped and looked at it. The door opened and a beautiful young woman came out to meet them. The eldest son was much taken with her.

So he told the old man and his brothers, "I would be happy to live in this hut. I would build other huts and become rich."

"All right, my son," the old man said. "May it be as you wish."

The old man married the eldest son to the girl from the hut. Before he left him, he said, "Hate falsehood and love truth."

The old man and the two brothers continued through the forest. A few days later they came to the bank of a stream. On the other side was a clean hut, with a flour mill alongside it. While they stood there considering what to do, a lovely young woman came out of the mill with ajar of flour in her hand.

"How happy I would be to live with this woman," the middle son said. "I would build more flour mills and get rich."

"So may it be, my son," replied the old man.

The old man married the middle son to the girl with the jar of flour. When he parted from him he told him, "My son, hate falsehood and love truth."

The old man and the youngest son continued their journey. When they

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