The Seven Jars

Long ago there lived a merchant whose wife had died and who went daily from his lonely house in the foothills to the town below, for buying and selling. “I must have a holiday,” he said to himself one day, and he began to climb up into the hills to enjoy the view and the sounds of the forest. In the hot afternoon, feeling sleepy he looked for a quiet place for a nap. Soon he discovered a kind of hole in a cliff, actually a cave; so he lay down in the dark interior and slept. Waking up, he felt there was something with him, in the cave.

Crawling back inside he found a large earthen jar. Then another, and another and another — there were seven jars there, altogether! Now the merchant wondered if he dared to open them. There was no sound of anyone about, still it seemed a bit risky. But curiosity, as you know, is powerful indeed. He found he could lift the lid of the first jar. What do you know! It seemed to be full of gold coins. So were the second, third, fourth and fifth. Under the lid of the sixth jar he found an aged piece of paper. On it was written, “Finder, beware!! The seven jars of gold are yours, but there is a curse. No one who takes them with him can leave the curse behind.” Now, next to curiosity, greed is the most powerful urge. Our merchant overjoyed with his luck, wasted no time in borrowing a two-wheeled cart to carry the jars of gold to his house. It was exhausting and next to impossible. Bulky and hard to lift, they had to be taken two by two; in the dark of night he lugged them to his house. On the last trip, with the seventh jar alone thankfully the load was lighter, and he noticed nothing.

“Let me count the coins,” he thought , “and see how great my fortune is.”

But — when that seventh jar was opened he found it was only half-full. “What!” he cried, “I was promised seven jars!” He had thrown the note away and forgotten about the curse. The merchant was overcome and obsessed by a spirit of grasping and greed. Now, in the town, he went at his money-making hand and fist; it was all he lived for. “I must fill the seventh jar with gold,”: this was his constant thought. Yet the more he put into the jar, strangely the more it remained half-full. He lived some years more, but never did he enjoy spending the gold he had found, because it was never enough.

this story found here


There was once a rich man and a greedy man noted for eating a lot. The rich man invited the greedy man to dinner. After he had finished his heavy meal, the rich man offered the greedy man some money if he would eat one more sweet. He did so and collected the money. Then he was offered even more money if he would eat another one. The greedy man did it again. The third time he was offered yet more money and, with great difficulties, he managed to eat the third one also and collected the money. But he was so loaded with food that he could not walk. He had to be helped home where he lay on a bed. In the meantime, the food in the stomach expanded so that he could hardly breathe. A doctor was called who gave him a pill to swallow. As he could not speak, he conveyed by gestures that if he had space for a pill, he would have certainly taken another sweet and got more money!! …


a penny for your thoughts, … a dollar for water?