The poor man’s potato (Hungarian folk tale)

When our Lord Christ was on earth, he was very hungry, and as soon as he passed through a village, he went to the richest man: he asked for something to eat in the name of God. The rich man growled at his stepmother and kicked her out of the house.

  • Cover up! There’s nothing!

Our Lord Christ went on and entered a small house at the end of the village. A very poor man lived there, and this poor man was sitting at the table, there was a bowl of potatoes in front of him: he was snacking on it, he had no other dinner.

Christ greets the poor man:

  • Good evening, poor man! Give me something in the name of God, I’m very hungry.

Said the poor man:

  • I’m happy with what I have, but I don’t have anything else but these potatoes. Sit down and eat!

Our Lord Christ sat down at the table, the two of them ate the bowl of potatoes with the poor man, then he clasped his hands together, said a blessing on the poor man’s table, and in the blink of an eye the bowl was filled with potatoes. With that, he said goodbye to the poor man and continued his journey, but the potatoes did not run out of the poor man’s bowl.

It got a lot of news, people were crazy about it. The rich man also went there, and when he saw the great miracle, he made up his mind that if only that beggar would come to his house one more time – because that is how Christ saw our Lord -, he would not chase him away, but make him sit down, entertain him like a gentleman, and see if he would bless his table. too.

It happened exactly as the rich man thought. After a short time, our Lord Christ returned to the village and went to the rich man. Bezzeg now received him with great kindness. He sat down at his table and first brought in a bowl of potatoes and offered our Lord Christ:

  • Eat, poor man, eat! Our Lord Christ ate from the potatoes, the bowl was empty, but no other potatoes grew in its place, as in the case of the poor man.

Says the rich man:

  • Indeed, are you the beggar who blessed the poor man’s table?

“It is I,” said Christ.

  • Bless my table too!

Our Lord Christ clasped his hands, he said something quietly to himself, but what he said, what he didn’t say – the blessing was not conceived, the bowl remained empty.

The rich man asks:

  • What could be the reason why my bowl remains empty?

Christ said:

  • Because your potatoes are not good.

With that, he got up from the table, said good night, and left the rich man there. Slowly, the rich man ran out not only of his potatoes, but also of other things. Although he tried in vain after that, he became impoverished, and none of his work was blessed by God.

On the other hand, the poor man’s potatoes kept multiplying, they multiplied so much that he no longer knew where to put the many, many potatoes. But he became such a rich man that there was no one else in the village, not even in the neighboring village, not even in seven counties!

(Elek Benedek: Hungarian fairy-tale world, volume 3)

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