The Jew among Thorns
There was once a rich man, who had a servant who served him diligently and honestly: he was every morning the first out of bed, and the last to go to rest at night; and, whenever there was a difficult job to be done, which nobody cared to undertake, he was always the first to set himself to it. Moreover, he never complained, but was contented with everything, and always merry.
When a year was ended, his master gave him no wages, for he said to himself, "That is the cleverest way; for I shall save something, and he will not go away, but stay quietly in my service. The servant said nothing, but did his work the second year as he had done it the first; and when at the end of this, likewise, he received no wages, he made himself happy, and still stayed on.
When the third year also was past, the master considered, put his hand in his pocket, but pulled nothing out. Then at last the servant said, "Master, for three years I have served you honestly, be so good as to give me what I ought to have; for I wish to leave, and look about me a little more in the world."
"Yes, my good fellow," answered the old miser; "you have served me industriously, and, therefore, you shall be cheerfully rewarded;" and he put his hand into his pocket, but counted out only three farthings, saying, "There, you have a farthing for each year; that is large and liberal pay, such as you would have received from few masters."
The honest servant, who understood little about money, put his fortune into his pocket, and thought, "Ah! now that I have my purse full, why need I trouble and plague myself any longer with hard work!" So on he went, up hill and down dale; and sang and jumped to his heart's content. Now it came to pass that as he was going by a thicket a little man stepped out, and called to him, "Whither away, merry brother? I see you do not carry many cares." "Why should I be sad?" answered the servant; "I have enough; three years' wages are jingling in my pocket." "How much is your treasure?
The Fish and the Leopard's Wife; or, Why the Fish lives in the Water
Category: Nigerian folktales
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