In which we celebrate Saturday Stories : another trickster tale

Remember the story a few weeks ago about the Mulla Nasruddin? This one seems like it was probably told as a Nasruddin story as well, doesn't it? Enjoy. --A

The Purse of Gold, A Jewish Folktale

A beggar found a leather purse that someone had dropped in the marketplace.

Opening it, he discovered that it contained 100 pieces of gold. Then he heard a merchant shout, "A reward! A reward to the one who finds my leather purse!"

Being an honest man, the beggar came forward and handed the purse to the merchant saying, "Here is your purse. May I have the reward now?"

"Reward?" scoffed the merchant, greedily counting his gold. "Why the purse I dropped had 200 pieces of gold in it. You've already stolen more than the reward! Go away or I'll tell the police."

"I'm an honest man," said the beggar defiantly. "Let us take this matter to the court."

In court the judge patiently listened to both sides of the story and said, "I believe you both. Justice is possible!

"Merchant, you stated that the purse you lost contained 200 pieces of gold. Well, that's a considerable cost. But, the purse this beggar found had only 100 pieces of gold. Therefore, it couldn't be the one you lost."

And, with that, the judge gave the purse and all the gold to the beggar.


  1. Cool - too bad justice doesn't always work that way!

  2. i have an overdeveloped sense of justice and so i *loved* this story.

    i printed it out twice, and will bring it to a party tonight. (where i will have to translate.)

    ~lytha, tired from shovelling snow. 8 inches. i screamed out the window this morning: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO"


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