Transformation – A Cautionary Tale About Money and Generosity

There lived once two men. One of them was rich, and the other one was poor. There were many feasts in the house of the rich man. Meanwhile, the poor man had nothing to eat. A wise old man once came to the door of the rich man and asked him to sleep for the night. The rich proudly replied:

– I don’t spend my nights with the poor and the lame. Go to that shed which has the sky for a roof. They’ll let you in there for sure.

The old man stroked the rich man on the head, and suddenly – he turned him into a horse.

Then he asked for a bed from the poor man. The poor replied:

– Come in, come in… But you’ll have to put the horse in the yard, since there is not enough space here.

In the morning, after the old man had rested, he gave the poor man his horse. The poor man harnessed the horse into a plow, went into the forest and started chopping trees with his wife. He managed to build a new, more beautiful house. Earned much more, and could afford himself more than bread. He began to live well.

A year later, the old man came once again, but the once poor man now did not want to let him in. The old man stroked his horse’s head, and turned the horse back into the once rich man. The man repented at once, vowing to never be prideful again. From then on, he started behaving nicely, even teaching his children to always help the poor.

And the now prideful host once again became poor.


The Lesson

  • It’s not surprising that a poor man is generous with his empty wallet, it is rather  impressive when he remains as kind after growing rich.


  • Russian Folk Legends. M., 1998.
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