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Wisdom from the son of Armenia.

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  • aghkahdee khuhnahmk chee duhvoghuh uhndahneek ou ohjagh guh gohrsinchouneh (one who refuses to give charity to the poor will lose family and hearth)

    The Rich man and his poor neighbor

    There were neighbors, one rich and the other poor, who lived in a village. The poor neighbor hardly made ends meet. Whenever the rich man’s wife cooked fresh bread in her outdoor clay and brick oven, the poor man would send his wife to ask for a loaf. This was the custom in the village.

    One day the wife of the poor man came to ask for a new loaf of freshly baked bread. By providence, the wife of the rich man was in a bad mood. She spoke harshly to the poor man’s wife. “What are you here for? My husband works day and night, sometimes he doesn’t even sleep. But your husband sleeps with his head propped up on a soft pillow.
    Why doesn’t he get a job and work like my husband!”

    The poor man’s wife returned home. She repeated everything the rich man’s wife told her. The poor man was very hurt by the nasty remarks his wife repeated. He tried to find some way to end his day to day subsistence by becoming wealthy enough to maintain his family comfortably. He asked his wife, “Tell me please, do we have any bread in the house?” “There is one loaf left,” she said. “Please bring now,” he said.

    She gave him the bread. He divided it into five pieces, one for his wife, one for each of his three children and one for himself. Hr informed his wife that he was leaving for a short time to find some wealth to maintain the family. He asked her to be patient and pray that he would return quickly.

    It was still the early afternoon. He walked briskly toward the forest hoping to find some miracle. After walking a long distance, it became night and the darkness in the forest made him feel very uncomfortable. He found an old windmill on the bank of a river that was in ruins. He entered and looked for a room that may shelter him for the night. He went up into the windmill tower and laid down to sleep. He could hardly sleep due to the sounds of the deep forest. He noticed that a fox entered the hall of the windmill followed by a wolf and then a bear. He began to curse his fate. They would certainly sense his presence and perhaps kill him.

    The fox raised his snout and sniffed the air. He said, “I can smell a man somewhere in this windmill. I know the scent of those wretched humans.”

    “You smell a human! What kind of nonsense is that! What man would be in this broken down mill? This a forsaken place not fit even for us,” said the wolf and the bear.

    They began to talk amongst themselves. The bear said, “Brother fox, what did you do today?”

    “While prowling the forest, I came upon two pump chickens in the forest. I tried my best to kill them, but they ran like scared chickens and made a lot of chicken noise. The chicken farmer came running with his shotgun and started to shoot. It scared the heck out of me and I ran as fast as I could to get away. I went to my hideout near a big tree. I have a pot of gold hidden there buried at the base of the tree. When I am not feeling good, I roll on the grass above the pot. It makes me feel better,” said the fox.

    “And you, brother wolf, what did you do today?” asked the fox.

    “I thought it was my lucky day when I came upon a flock of fat sheep,” said the wolf.
    I was ready to devour them one by one, but the sheep dog wouldn’t let me get near. You know, men are not really intelligent. They don’t realize how valuable the brain of a sheep dog is. It is a real panacea for ailments. For example, the daughter of the emperor of Stamboul is afflicted with leprosy. If I go to see the king and claim I can heal her, he will surely let me try as he is hopelessly desperate. I will fill seven big pots with water and bring them to a boil and maintain it until all seven pots are almost empty. Then I will empty the water remaining in all seven pots into one and place the brain of a sheep dog in it. Next, I will bathe the king’s daughter in the medicinal water. She will get cured of her dreadful disease and the king will give me whatever I desire.”

    The fox and the wolf look at the bear and ask, “What did you do today, brother bear?”

    “I was in the forest looking for a morsel to eat. I encountered a calf that had lost its way in the forest. I easily killed it. I carried the calf to my cave and ate its tasty flesh. After the meal, I slept with my belly button up on my huge pot with seven handles filled with gold coins.”

    At dawn, the three wild animals left the windmill. The man felt great relief seeing the carnivorous beast leave. He praised Jesus and Mary for his good fortune. “I have nothing to fear now,” he said. He set out to get his fortune. He saw the fox rolling on the wet grass at the base of a big tree. He made loud menacing noises and scared the fox, who ran away. He dug up the pot of gold and emptied its precious coins in his sack.

    The poor man began to gloat about his good fortune. He decided to take a chance and go to Stamboul. On the way, he encountered a shepherd and his flock.

    “Pray tell me brother shepherd, how much will you sell your sheep dog?” asked the poor man.

    “Ten gold coin and not any less,” said the shepherd.

    “So be it,” said the poor man. He handed ten gold coins to the shepherd and took the dog. After walking a considerable distance, the poor man killed the dog and took out its brain. He placed the brain in his sheep skin pouch and continued his journey.

    He continued his journey walking forty days from the interior of Anatolia to Stamboul.
    It was not an easy journey, but he prevailed and finally reached the capital of the empire. Walking through the streets, he cried out, “I am a healer, a healer. I have come to heal the emperor’s daughter!”

    The news of the poor man’s claim to heal the leprous girl was communicated to the emperor. He ordered his guards to bring the healer to him. When the healer arrived, the emperor asked him, “What kind of medicine do you have? Can you heal my daughter?”

    “May the emperor live long.” said the healer. “I can heal her by the mercy of God if only you listen to what I ask of you.”

    “Ok, do what you know is necessary,” said the emperor.

    The healer asked and received seven boilers. He had a stove built with heavy stones and had the boilers placed on the stones. He had the workers build a powerful fire under the boilers. The water boiler harder and harder until the volume was reduced to almost nil.
    The healer emptied the remaining water into one boiler. He opened his sheep skin pouch and took out the sheep dog’s brain and placed it in the boiler with the water. He continued to boil the water with the brain until the brain seemed to dissolve in the water like a broth. The volume of the water was reduced to half and the broth became thick.

    He asked the king to bring his daughter. After the water was cool enough, he had the teen bath with the thick broth three times. After the bath, she went to sleep. The next day, she was miraculously healed of leprosy. Her skin appeared like the soft skin of a new born baby.

    The emperor was overwhelmed with appreciation for the healer. This was truly a miracle that unraveled before his eyes. He summoned all the important men in his royal city to a banquet to honor the healer. When everyone was present in the royal dining hall, the king began to address the healer.

    “Tell me now, my dear man, what will you like to receive from me as a reward for saving my daughter’s life?” said the emperor.

    “May the king live a long and prosperous life,” said the healer. “I don’t want anything. Please order one hundred of your soldiers with five cannons and ten chariots to accompany me back to my home village.”

    “So be it,” said the king. The healer was thrilled by the king’s generosity. He thanked him over and over again. Accompanied by the soldiers, the healer left for his native land.
    He led the soldiers into the forest because he was looking for the bear. As soon as he found the cave of the bear, he ordered the soldiers to bomb it with the cannons. There were many explosions that caused the bear to hurl and panic. It fled into the forest to escape the terrible explosions.

    The healer entered the cave and found the huge pot full of gold with seven handles where the bear slept previously. With great haste, he packed the gold into bags and placed them on the chariots. He proceeded with his guards as quickly as possible toward his village.
    His wife and family were overjoyed to greet him and discover his new found wealth.
    Everyday the healer/poor man glorified God for blessing him with such good fortune. Now he was peaceful and happy with his wife and children.

    The rich neighbor noticed that the poor man’s wife no longer came begging for bread. He thought to himself, “Well now, what has become of my brother, the poor neighbor? I have heard so many rumors about him. What is all this about? The whole village is murmuring that the poor man has become rich. Everyone is treating him with respect. How did he do it? They are saying he went to sleep one night in the abandoned windmill that is in ruins. Somehow the next day he became rich.”

    After thinking like this, the rich man did some investigation to verify of the rumors were true. He also spoke to his wife, “I can’t stand it that the poor idiot became fabulously rich. It is eating away at my pride that such a lazy fool could be so successful. Maybe I should sleep overnight in the broken down windmill. What do you think?”

    “You’re right. Do it right away tonight! Do let them do it again. They might become richer than us. I couldn’t stand it if they did. Go tonight and bring back more gold than them,” said the envious wife.

    The husband listened to his wife and went off to reach the windmill by nightfall. Just as the sun set, he entered the abandoned windmill. He went upstairs and settled in to sleep the night. Around midnight, he heard sounds in the entrance of the windmill. He saw three wild animals: a fox, wolf and a bear. They were having a conversation. The fox said, “I can smell the odor of a man. This time I am sure some man is here in the windmill.”

    “What odor of a man,” said the bear. What would a man being doing in the forsaken place? It is not possible.”

    The fox began to look around as he said, “The both of you stay here while I walk look upstairs. We made the mistake last night. Obviously someone was here who later robbed us all.”

    As the fox made the rounds, he came upon the frightened rich man hiding upstairs. He alerted the others that a man was among them in the windmill. The bear and the wolf cried out, “Bring him here. Bring him here. He is the one that robbed us clean. Bring him here so we can rip him apart!”

    The fox chimed back, “His kidneys are for me.”

    The three carnivorous animals tore the rich man’s body apart and devoured him. They left the windmill satiated with blood and flesh.

    After a long absence of the rich man, his wife began to search for him. She asked friends and relatives to find him. They looked everywhere to no avail. The wife told them about the windmill and how her husband went there to find wealth like their neighbor. The searchers found several dried human bones and remains in the abandoned windmill. They returned the remains for burial. It was truly a sad day. The rich man’s family wailed in grief.

    It is said, “One who ignores to give charity and help to the poor will lose his family and home.”

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  • douhr mee apsohsahr
    ahr mee ahmahncheer

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  • mahrt vor seerd ou hohkee ounee, aghkadeen khuhnahmk dahl chee mehrjee

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