The three brothers and the pot of gold -Moldavia-
Years ago there lived a farmer who had three sons. Now among farmers, having three sons should have been a blessing, but these three had little time for farm work. In fact, they had little use for work at all. All were strong, healthy and good young men. The only vice they had, and such a vice it was on a farm, was that they hated work. They were born lazy. When they were young they would sit under a tree and watch the leaves turn colors. They invited other children to visit and then watched them as they played with their toys.
When they grew older they would watch the young women walk past their farm but were too lazy to ever go out and meet them. When they became young men, they talked endlessly about nothing and sometimes, when the mood hit them just right, they might go fishing. But, if they caught too many fish they might leave most behind, for it was too much work to carry them all home.
The neighbors would watch them as they stretched out beneath the trees in the yard and shake their heads.
“Why do you not help your father around the farm?” they called.
“Father enjoys his work and in his work he provides for us. Why should we work and deny him that pleasure.” The brothers would reply, laughing and eventually falling asleep.
The father tried his best to get them to work, but it was all in vain. The years went on and finally the old man wore himself out and was on his deathbed.
“My sons, the end to my work is near. Soon I will leave you and I fear so much for your future.”
For the first time the three young men were roused out of their apathy. They exchanged worried looks. The oldest knelt by his father’s side and spoke.
“Father we need your counsel and your blessing. What are we to do?”
The father looked at his sons and slowly said. “My boys, when your mother and I were young we saved our money very guardedly. We knew that hard times might come again and send the wolf to the door. We tried to put one gold coin every month into a small pot that we buried in the yard. As the years went by and you boys came into our lives, we couldn’t put any money away and quickly forgot about the pot of gold. I can’t remember where, but somewhere in the yard or perhaps in the field next to the house there is a pot of gold. I hope you find it and that it saves you all.” With these words the old man closed his eyes and died.
The three sons wept for their father and in their grief kept his memory alive in their hearts for a long time. But soon they were hungry and the little food and money that their father had in the house was soon gone.
“Our father spoke of a pot of gold,” said the middle brother. “I say we start to dig around the house and try to find this gold and keep ourselves alive.” The other two agreed.
For the first time in their lives the three brothers began to work. They shoveled and dug and dug some more. At the end of the first day their hands were blistered and their backs ached and the places where their muscles should have been were sore but they found no gold. They started a new next day. All week they dug till the whole yard was dug up and the earth was rich and brown and still they found no gold. They dug even deeper and found nothing. Next they began to dig in the field next to the house. When they found large rocks and stones they dug them out and rolled them to the side to build fences with. Soon the field was dug, like the yard, rich and brown and still no pot of gold. The brothers looked around and the eldest spoke.
“It seem a shame to waste all this work. Let us plant a vineyard and a garden here and try our hands at a trade.”
And so the three brothers planted a vineyard and they began to raise a small vegatable garden as well. The grapes grew well and they prospered.
One day as they sat on their porch after a hard day’s work in the vineyard they sipped their coffee and looked out over their labors. Their grapevines were heavy with grapes and their vegetable garden kept their tables full and left them produce to sell.
“You know,” said the eldest. “Our wise father did leave us a treasure after all.”
They all agreed that he was a very wise man.