The black hen lays a white egg
sehv hahvuh uhsbeedahk hahvgeet (tzou) ahdzehl eh
Out of evil may sometimes come good. From threatening clouds, we get refreshing showers. In dark mines, men find bright jewels. Our worst troubles may bring our best blessings. From those who seem to be the least qualified, amazing feats are sometimes accomplished.
The following real life tragedy is an example of this proverb.
Autistic boy, 12, dies saving his father from fire that destroyed their home
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 4:06 PM on 6th April 2011
A 12-year-old autistic boy died saving his father from a fire which destroyed their home.
Alex Swigart, from Bisbee, Arizona, woke his dad and his girlfriend up when he smelled smoke in their mobile home.
His father Joseph said: ‘Alex was the first one who smelled smoke. He woke me up and we were headed out the door.’ Joseph Swigart ran to get a hose but then realized his autistic son was no longer by his side but went back inside
He said: ‘I realized at the time he wasn’t there. By the time I got back up on the porch, fire engulfed the living room. I ran around side of the house.
‘I tried to go inside. I had four Border Patrol men grab me and drag me back to the road. They wouldn’t let me go back inside.’
Naco firefighter Joseph Garcia told KGUN9TV: ‘The flames were coming so big, we were having a heck of a time. I could only watch as Swigart tired to get back to his son.’
Mr Swigart, who acknowledges that he would never have got out alive if it wasn’t for his son, then heard something no parent should ever have to hear. Fighting back tears he said: ‘I yelled inside the window and I heard him call to me, “Daddy I can’t breathe!”‘
In the confusion, Alex never made it out. After the fire was extinguished, a firefighter spotted the 12-year-old’s body huddled near his dad’s bed against the wall.
Naco Fire Chief Jesus Morales said: ‘I always prayed to God I’d never have something like this happen, but it did happen.’
All that is left of their home is a charred roof, a pile of burned out comic books, playing cards and a bicycle on its side.
There was one thing that survived from the fire intact.
Mr Swigart – a Gulf War combat veteran – received a commander’s coin for his distinguished service, something he said Alex really liked. It was found intact near the spot Alex died, all the other metal, including the hubcaps of the car, had melted.
Now, Swigart faces an emotional wall he hopes he can climb. He already has the love and support of Alex’s classmates.
He said: ‘They started a little memorial. “Alex we love you. Alex we miss you”, they said.
So far, neither the cause of the fire nor the cause of death has been determined.
There is a mouth but no bread, and there is bread but no mouth
Pehrahn gah hatz chee gah, hatz gah pehrahn chee gah
The unfortunate man is both lacking intelligence (or good judgement) and (very) lazy
ahnpaghd mahrtuh teh ahnkhehlk eh yev teh dzouyl
Misfortune is a self imposed state and not forced on one by God. Man’s destiny is the result of acts performed in previous lives by the misuse of one’s free will. Man makes his own destiny of misfortune or good fortune by his personal choices in this life and previous lives.
(In very rare instances is the virtue of an individual man tested by God to set an example for mankind to follow as in the case of Job or the Pandavas of the Mahabharata. In such examples, Job or the Pandavas did not have a checkered destiny due to any misdeeds in previous lives. They were subjected to misfortune in order to serve as examples to humanity how one can be saved from all calamity by the maintaining faith in God and aspiring for the Lord’s mercy.)
There is an Armenian story that illustrates this proverb.
The mindless and lazy man
There was and there wasn’t a mindless and lazy man.
This man was very poor. He was not successful in any work.
He blamed God for his continual poverty. He thought that God created him to be unlucky.Tried of being poor, this man decided one day to go and find God so that he could complain that God created him to be poor. He wanted to then implore God to change his fate to be successful. One early morning he started on his journey.
Shad kenatz, keetch kenatz ( literally he went far, and not so far), suddenly he saw a bear that leaped out from a cave
and blocked his path. The bear was ready to eat the man. He began to speak to the bear.
“Brother bear, why do you want to eat me? I am a unfortunate man who is on the path to seek out and find God. I want to complain to Him that He created me to be an unlucky man. I will beg Him to change my destiny.” (paghduhs pannah literally open up my good luck)
“Very well”, said the bear, “since you are seeking God, I will not eat you. However, I beseech you that when you find God say a few good words about me to Him. Please tell God that in this very place you saw a bear that has been suffering from a terrible headache. Ask him what is the cause of my headache and what will be the cure.”
Kuhloughuhs vuhrrah (literally “on my head” which implies – I accept the responsibility or Respectfully, I’ll do your bidding) said the man and continued on his journey.
Shad kennatz keetch kenatz ( he went far and not so far), he saw a very large building. He approached closer to the building and walked around it. He saw it was empty and no one was living in it. There was a very large field in front of the building. He stood in one corner of the field and looked afar where he espied two men walking toward him. When the men reached him they asked, “Where are you going like this on these abandoned paths, pray tell us sir.”
Dear brothers, I am an unfortunate man. All the days of my life have been past in poverty. One day I decided to go and seek out God and find Him so I can complain to Him why He created me unfortunate. I will then beg Him to change my destiny.
“It is very good that you met us,” said the two young men. “We are two brothers. We own this huge building and this vast field which we are trying our best to plow to make a living. However, look at our plight, we work night and day, we take out all the weeds, we plow, we plant, but whatever we plant, very few roots take hold, and the few flowers that come they dry on the branch and fall to the ground. Ask God why do we have such misfortune, what is the cause, and what should we do to change such a miserable existence?”
Very good, promised the man and continued on his journey.
Shad kennatz keetch kenatz ( he went far and not so far), He became tired , on the bank of a stream, under the shade of a tree he laid down to rest. When he began to leave after resting, the tree miraculously began to talk.
“Where are you going in this lonely place and forsaken pathways for God’s sake, O man?”
“I am a unfortunate man. I have tired of living in poverty. I decided to travel, search, and find God. I will complain to Him why he created me unfortunate and implore Him to change my destiny,” said the man.
“Oh, very good that we have met here,” said the tree. “When you find God, please relate to Him that in this place there is a tree that grows on the bank of this stream. However, the roots of this tree does not get enough water and its branches do not receive enough nourishment. The tree’s leaves begin to turn yellow and dry very quickly. They fall from the branches too quickly. Please ask God what is the cause of this and what is the remedy.”
The man promised the tree to ask God the question and continued on his journey.
He went far and didn’t go far, he saw in the distance an elderly man with a long, slender, white goatee with his back to the trunk of a large tree. “Now I have found God,” said the man in his mind and approached the bearded man to kiss his hand and he said.
“I am an unfortunate man looking for my God in order to complain to Him that He created me unlucky. I want to implore Him to bless me with good fortune. Where can I find my God?”
“I am the God that created you,” said the stately elderly man. Please go on your way now for from this moment on your good fortune is restored.”
The man became very happy that he found God and was able to complain to Him. Hearing his complaint God restored his good fortune. The man also implored God to hear the complaints of the bear, the two youths and the tree and respond to their requests.
God began to respond by addressing the tree’s request first.
“First, tell the tree that at the base of its roots is buried a large chest full of gold. If a man can find a way to lift from the tree’s root base the chest full of gold, then the roots of the tree will be able to absorb plentiful water and its branches will be full of leaves and fruits again.
Secondly, tell the two youths that within the depths of their field along the veins and arteries of the length of the field there is a gold mine. Because of this, after plowing the fields, the corn seeds they plant are not able to establish strong roots and the plants, whether they flower or not, die. Let them deeply plow the field until they actually touch the gold mine. Then they should excavate the rough gold stones and earth, separate the rough gold from the earth, clean the rough gold stones and refine them from all foreign matter and impurities to obtain pure gold nuggets. In this way they will become rich and their valuable field will be cleared of hard stones and the earth will become very fertile.
Thus the seeds they plant in the future will grow strong roots and the plants will flower and produce healthy corn ears of corn. The seeds they plant will multiply into hundreds of more seeds and their efforts will be very bountiful.
Third, if you do encounter the bear, tell him that his seven year headache is due to not having enough to eat. If he finds an unintelligent and lazy man, he should eat him and his headache will be cured.”
Hearing God’s words, the man became very happy and began his journey back. When he approached the tree and explained God’s revelations, the tree begged him to dig the ground around his roots and remove the buried chest laden with gold. The tree implored him to take the chest with him saying, “I am a tree. What need do I have for gold? My only need is water and the man God has referred to is you.”
“I cannot satisfy you request. Find another man to do your bidding. God has made be fortunate. From now on, I will enjoy life,” said the unintelligent and lazy man. The tree pleaded and begged the man saying, “Oh man, I never see the face of a man in this secluded place. Listen to my plea. Please dig below my roots, and lift out the buried chest full of gold and take it with you. You will become rich and my roots will become free to imbibe as much water as I need to thrive so that my branches will be full of green leaves and I will become a tree bearing many fruits.”
“No, no, I cannot stay and dig below your roots. I must go and enjoy the newly opened fortune God has conferred on me,” said the man and denied the tree’s urgent plea. He continued on his journey.
When he reached the two youths, he explained to them the tree’s woes, God’s recommendation to cure its ills, the tree’s urgent plea, entreaty and supplication to dig below his root and lift out the buried chest of gold and his refusal. Then he revealed God’s prophetic words concerning the gold mine buried in the field of the two youths and how they should extract the gold.
“Thank you very much, friend,” said the youths. “From today on, we will begin to plow and dig deeply into the soil of the field to unearth all the gold and clean it of impurities. However, we implore you, although you turned down the tree’s plea, please do not refuse us. Stay here with us. Instead of two brothers, we will become three. Together let us dig the field, take out the gold, become rich, and enjoy the wealth God with which God has blessed us. Then we can also plow the field, plant it and with the bountiful harvest we can live in this large building together.”
“No, no, I don’t have time to stay here and work with you. God had endowed me with good fortune. I must go and enjoy it,” said the man.
The brothers pleaded, implored and begged him to no avail. The man continued his journey.
When he reached the cave, the bear jumped out and stood in front of the man and asked him what answer God gave to his complaint and what cure He recommended to end the ills (headache) of the bear.
The man first explained to the bear what happened to him when he parted last from the bear. He explained about his meeting with the two youths and the tree and their complaints that he communicated to God. He further explained his great pleasure in meeting God and the replies God gave him for his personal complaint. God said to the man, “From this moment on your good fortune will begin.” Then the man revealed all the details of the answer God gave for the tree’s and the youths problems. He described his renewed encounter with the tree after leaving God. He explained how the tree begged him to stay and dig out the buried chest full of gold and the tree’s request that the man take the chest with him and his refusal. Similarly, he described his meeting with the youths and their plea that he stay with them and become their brother to dig the field to take out all the gold from the gold mine and then plow the field, plant it and live happily off of the opulent harvest. He explained his refusal of the youth’s plea.
At last he told the bear about the answer God gave to his complaint. He said, “The cause of the seven year headache the bear has is due to prolonged hunger. When the bear meets an unintelligent and truly lazy man, let him eat him at once to satisfy his hunger and his headache will end.”
“Where will I find a man more stupid and lazy than you,” said the bear as he torn the flesh of the man to pieces and ate him.
The water pitcher breaks while carrying it (to its destination)
choureen goujuh choureen jahmpan guh gohduhree
In the line of duty, there is always the chance of a mishap that is either due to fate or negligence.
One is never completely in control. There are times when the best of man made plans are thwarted by unpredictable events such as human error, etc.
This proverb conveys the sense that the worst outcome is always a possibility and one must not assume that such a thing cannot happen.
The orphan went out on the full moon night to steal, but the unfortunate wretch was attacked by a bear (and ran back empty handed and frightened)
Vorpuh koghoutyan kahtzhereh, lousenghan eerougunuh archmuh khejin vruhah hartzaghereh
This proverb expresses failure and unsuccessful endeavor especially when the endeavor is ill motivated.