A gift from the heart
Three brothers went abroad – to earn money. They reached a crossroads. The eldest said:
– Here we are going to separate. I will take up the right path, you – he turned to the middle brother – go to the left, and you – he told the youngest one – will keep the middle road. After three years on Dimitrovden we will find ourselves here again, at this crossroads, and then we will see how much each of us earned. Is it fair?
“It is, brother” said the two younger brothers, kissed his hand, and parted ways.
The eldest brother descended into a city became a baker and won a full purse of gold for three years. The average brother opened the pub next to a bridge. He turned his sleeves and started selling wine. He sold wine and water until he filled his pockets. And the youngest one worked for a good man – an old shepherd. As the three years passed, the boy went to the shepherd for the bill. The shepherd stacked the money he had earned in a pile, pulled three walnuts out of his belt and said:
– I’m old and sick. I cannot run after the sheep anymore. If you didn’t show up my flock would’ve failed. I’m very grateful. You have earned as much money as there are in this pile or those three walnuts that I have put in front of you. I give the money not from my heart, because it is like fire: one can easily burn his hands with them. And I give the nuts from my heart. If you want, take the money if you like – thea walnuts.
The boy thought, thought, and touched the walnuts.
“I will take walnuts because you give them from your heart.
He took the walnuts, kissed the old shepherd’s hand, and left.
Just at Dimitrovdem, the three brothers met at the crossroads. The eldest brother asked them:
– What are your profits?]
“They are good,” replied the average brother.
– Let’s see them! Here, first see what I earned!
He untied his purse. The average brother also took a pouch of money out of his pockets.
“You have not fed the flies in the tavern,” the big one told him.
Finally, the youngest pulled out the three walnuts.
“Is that your profit for three years?” – asked his eldest brother.
“It is – three walnuts, but they are given from the heart,” the young man replied. “An old man gave them to me I worked as a shepherd for his flock. He cared for me like a father.
The other two exploded:
“We’ve always seen stupid people, but a more stupid man than you will not be found around the world. For three walnuts – three years of work! Go back to ask for money from the shepherd, or don’t you dare to enter our father’s house! “The oldest brother shouted.
The boy was really sad and went back. It was hard on his soul.
– I thought – he said – that a gift from heart is the best thing on earth, and look what came out!
He reached a fountain. He wanted to drink water but swallowed only two sips because he was hungry. Reaching in his bag – there was no crumb of bread. “I can break the walnuts so that I can fool my hunger,” thought the boy. He broke the first walnut and a miracle happened. Suddenly the broken walnut had grown as big as a hundred-liter barrel, and sheep, rams of bells, young lambs began to emerge from the shell, a whole flock! The boy was so happy he did not know what to do. He gathered the flock and took it to his father’s house.
He walked and walked near his native village.
“I will break the second walnut and see what’s in it,” he said. When the shell broke, two young oxen with big horns came out of the walnut tree. After the oxen – a car, and the car – an iron plow.
– Bre! – the boy hit his forehead, grabbing the chains of the oxen, and took them after the flock.
Before entering the village, he decided to break the third walnut. Then a girl came out of the shell – so beautiful that it could not be described with words.
“Take me,” the girl said, “to your father’s house; I am destined to be your bride.”
The boy took the girl with him, took the oxen and called the bells of the flock. He came home to his father’s house. When the brothers saw the flock, the new car and the maid – they almost swallowed their tongues. Then it became clear to them what a gift from heart was!