Foolish Wishespage 1 / 3
There was once a poor woodcutter who, tired of his hard life, longed for rest in the world to come. In his unhappiness, he declared that in all his days heaven had not granted even one of his wishes.
One day in the woods, as the woodcutter was complaining of his unhappy lot, Jupiter appeared before him, his thunderbolts in his hands. It would be difficult to picture the terror of the poor man.
"I desire nothing," he said, casting himself on the ground. I will give up my wishes if you, in turn, will give up your thunder. That's a fair exchange!"
"Have no fear," said Jupiter. "I have heard your complaints and I have come to show you how unfairly you judge me. Now listen! I am king of all the world and I promise to grant your first three wishes, no matter what they may be. See that they make you happy and content; and since your happiness depends on them, think carefully before you make them."
With these words, Jupiter returned to his heavens and the happy woodcutter, taking up his bundle of sticks, hurried to his home. Never had his burden seemed so light.
"This is an important matter," he said to himself. ''I certainly must have my wife's advice."
"Hey, Fanchon," he shouted, as he entered his cottage. "Let us up a good fire. We are rich for the rest of our lives. All we have to do is to make three wishes!"
With this, he told his wife what had happened, whereupon she in her imagination began to form a thousand plans. But realizing the importance of acting prudently, she said to her husband, "Blaise, my dear, let us not spoil anything by our impatience. We must think things over very carefully. Let us put off our first wish until tomorrow. Let us sleep on it."
"I think you are right," said he. "But first go draw some of that special wine."
On her return, the woodcutter drank deeply and leaned back in his chair before the fire. "To match such a fine blaze," he said, "I wish we had a measure of sausage. It would go very well indeed!"