Food For Thought For Wednesday, July 18th, 2012
Jehdi and Hassan were two merchants who were very close friends. Jehdi was a cheerful person, almost frivolous, whereas Hassan was very serious, perhaps too cautious and careful. But an unbreakable bond of friendship tied them together and this made their journey for business happy, for they never had any dispute.
One time they started together toward the city of Touria.
They arrived at the outskirts of a forest where the big trees, moist rocks and cool shade invited them to take a well-deserved rest. Within a minute Jehdi fell asleep.
Hassan looked at his friend with a sigh and told himself, "He sleeps peacefully in nature, as if he were in his own house. I am afraid of someone robbing me. Even though the thief might get very little, I am too apprehensive and I prefer to be cautious. After all, one never knows what might happen".
Hassan was ruminating over his anxiety when suddenly he saw a wasp coming out of Jehdi's left nostril. Its enigmatic dance surprised him. It flew toward a single pine tree standing on a rock, circled the tree 3 times, and then returned to the sleeping Jehdi and disappeared into his right nostril.
Just at that moment Jehdi woke up, sat up laughing and said, "Hassan, you will never believe me. I just had a marvelous dream. Just imagine that there is big pine tree standing on a high rock, exactly like the one you see there. A wasp droned around the trunk and its wings buzzed as if to say, "You must dig in this place, you must dig in this place!" I started digging and I found a big pot full of gold coins. I have never in my life seen so much money…!"
"Yes, truly it is a strange dream," replied Hassan. "If I were in your place, I would have dug around the pine tree there."
"My poor friend, how na?ve you are. I would never take a dream seriously. It is so hot here, to dig would be torture! Please, let us continue our journey.."
But Hassan insisted, "Jehdi, a dream like this surely has a meaning. If you do not want to dig, I will try instead. Do you know what I propose to you? Sell your dream to me."
Jehdi began laughing loudly. "This is a good piece of business for me! How much will you pay?"
"You have said that there is a big pile of gold coins. I am your friend and I do not want to wrong you. You tell me how much you estimate to be the price of your dream."
After a brief discussion, they agreed to the sum of 300 coins.
"Never have I made such a business deal. So much money for a simple dream of no value. How gullible you are, Hassan!"
The 2 friends then went under the pine tree which the wasp had shown in the dream. Jehdi was amused to see Hassan perspiring profusely and breaking his back with the shovel. He continued on until the shovel made a dull sound as if it had struck something hard.
What a surprise for the 2 merchants when they uncovered an earthen pot full of gold coins! Before breaking it, Hassan noted an inscription near the handle: "the first of seven."
"The first of 7. That means there should be 6 more pots buried," Jehdi understood, starting to regret the deal he had concluded too quickly.
This time both of them dug with energy and, sure enough, they found the 6 pots, one after another, each one filled to the brim with gold coins.
Hassan built a huge inn in the city and named it The Bulging Pot. He lived as a rich and satisfied man until his death.
Jehdi often came to visit him and greeted his friend with the words, "Well, Hassan, how are you? I have come to see what has happened to my dream." And the 2 comrades patted each other on the back laughing. But every time Jehdi returned home sadder, for he knew that he could never buy back his dream.