Old Persian Tales – The faith of the starving man

Once, there was a wandering dervish of great piety and faith who was starving and lost in the desert. As he was walking along an old pathway in search of something to eat, he found an empty fruit sack that had been thrown by the road by a previous passer-by. The dervish picked up the sack and swung it over his shoulder while praying loudly, “Thank God for giving a starving man an empty sack of fruit,” as he continued to walk.

After he walked some more, he came across on old hunting bow whose string was broken. He picked up the bow and put it in his sack, and prayed out loud, “Thank God for giving a starving man a hunting bow with a broken string.”

A bit further down the road, he saw an old tree that was dead and bore no fruit. He broke a few dry branches off of the old tree and put them in his sack, and again said loudly, “Thank God for leading a starving man to a dead fruit tree,” and then he continued his way.

He walked some more and found a dented old cooking pot. He picked up the old pot off the ground, blew the dust off of it and put it in his sack too. He again loudly prayed, “Thank god for giving a starving man a dented old pot full of dust.”

As he continued walking, he found on the ground a fishing hook but no fishing pole. He picked up the fishing hook, put it in his sack and again declared loudly, “Thank God for giving a starving man a fishing hook with no fishing pole.”

Finally, after days of walking, his path ended in at a river that was so large he couldn’t see the other side. The old dervish fell to his knees at the river bank and prayed loudly, “Thank God for leading a starving man to a river so great that he cannot hope to cross it.”

Then, he tied the fishing hook to the broken string on the hunting bow, and using it as a fishing pole, he caught himself a fish that he cooked in the old pot over a fire he had made from the dried tree branches.

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