Folktales of the Jews - Vol. 2

By Dan Ben-Amos | Go to book overview

38
God Will Help

TOLD BY HINDA SHEINFERBER TO HADARAH SELA

This is a story for which a person has to believe that things will work out. To think only this.

Once there was an inn. The innkeeper leased it from the governor of the town. But he didn't have the rent money. Whenever the governor came to demand the rent, the innkeeper would say, "God will help me." It was always, "God will help me."

The poritz* was getting angrier. Several months had passed already. The man kept saying, "You will see that God will help me."

The poritz had already stopped going every day. Passover drew near, and the poritz said that he wanted to see how the man would celebrate Passover when he had so little and kept saying that God would help him. He wanted to see how.

In the meantime, the poritz had sold a broad tract of land, a large forest, and had been paid in silver and gold. If you want to know whether coins are counterfeit you put them in your mouth. Now this poritz, the governor, had a clerk. It was the clerk who had to test the money. He sat in a special room. There was a parrot in the room. The parrot watched every time he tested the money. After the clerk left the room, the parrot flew down. It thought that when the man put the money in his mouth he swallowed it. The bird swallowed so many coins that its stomach swelled up, and it fell down dead.

The poritz saw this as a way to be nasty to the innkeeper. He would throw him the dead parrot. At the very least, the innkeeper would be frightened. The next day, he threw it through the window. The bird's belly split open, and all the money spilled out.

So the man was able to celebrate Passover like a king, with wine and lots of good food. That night, the poritz went to see the innkeeper's Passover. There was bright light, and the table was set as for a royal feast.

*Polish landlord.

-278-

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