The Poor Man and the Rich Man
Narrated by Zeritu Kebede
Once upon a time there was a poor man and a rich man. The poor man just lived, and he had many lice, and he didn’t have anything. But the rich man worked very hard. He worked Saturdays and Sundays and he became very rich.
When people asked the poor man's wife why he was poor and the other man was rich, she told them her husband said, “It’s because I believe in God. I trust in God, and I spend all my time praying and becoming closer to God. Whereas the rich man spends all his time seeking material wealth.”
After some time the people wanted to ask a favour from God, so they decided to go to the poor man and ask him to pray to God because they thought he was holy and he would have greater admission into the kingdom of God.
As they were going along, they met an old man and the old man asked them where they were going and they said they were going to the poor man to pray for them.
And the old man said, “Are you sure that the poor man is really more holy and closer to God than the rich man? What is your proof? You can’t see into his heart. Let me tell you what you can do. The poor man has one dog and the rich man has one son. Go and kill them both.”
So they went and killed the dog and the son.
Then the old man called them and he said, “Go to the rich man and the poor man and tell them that you will give them both compensation for their wrongs. And if they accept compensation they would not seek revenge on whoever had killed their dog or their son."
And the rich man said he would accept the compensation and he didn’t want any revenge on the elders. He said God had given him his son and God had taken him away. However, the poor man said he didn’t want any compensation but instead he wanted revenge on the people who had killed his dog.
Therefore this shows us that the poor man was bloodthirsty and he had lots of evil thoughts in his heart. After that the Oromo elders decided that there should be no more compensation for a dog.
And the moral of this story also shows that a rich man can be holy and being poor does not always mean being good.