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 Jumping to Conclusions

Horse on fieldThere once was a poor old man who lived in a small village.  Jacob, a woodcutter by trade had a fine white horse.  His horse was the envy of everyone including the king.  He was offered great sums of money, but he refused to sell his animal saying, “how could I sell my friend”?  The people of the village laughed at him and called him an old fool.

One day his horse was found missing from the stable and some of the town folk said, “you poor old fool, you could have sold your horse for a fortune and lived well for many years.  Some one stole your horse and now you have nothing”. 

The old man replied by saying, “say only that my horse is not in the stable, you do not know if my horse was stolen”.  The people laughed at him.

Ten days later the man’s horse returned to his stable with 12 more horses following!  Again, the villagers returned.  They said, “old man, you must have been right, we were wrong.  You must have been blessed and not cursed after all”.

The old man said, “say not that I have been blessed, only say that my horse has returned with other horses.  You do not know whether I have been blessed or not” Again, the people laughed and went on their way.

The old man had a son who cared for his horses.  One day while caring for the horses the young man fell and broke both of his legs.  The people of the village returned and told the old man that he must be cursed and that now there was no one to care for his animals.  They told him that now he had no one who would help him.

The old man said, “say only that my son has broken his legs, who can know if a man is blessed or cursed”?

A short time later war broke out in the village and all of the young men were called to serve their village and fight for freedom.  Only the old man’s son was excused because of his injuries.  The people said, “old man, you must be blessed for we will never see our sons again”!  “At least, you will have your son even if he is injured”.

The old man said, “it is impossible to talk to you, you always draw conclusions, say only that your sons had to go to war and mine did not”.  “No one knows if it is a blessing or a curse, no one is wise enough to know.  Only God knows”.