A very poor newly wedded, young couple lived in a small farm. One day the husband made the following proposal to his wife: Honey, I will leave the house: I will travel faraway, get a job and work hard in order to come back and give you the comfortable life that you deserve. I do not know how long I will stay away, I only ask one thing, please wait for me, and while I am away, you should be faithful to me, because I will be faithful to you.
So the young man left. He walked many days until he found a farmer who was in need of someone to help him. The young man offered his services. He was accepted. Therefore he discussed the terms with his boss: Let me work for as long as I want and when I think I should go home, please relieve me of my duties. I do not want to receive my salary. I ask you to save it for me, until the day I leave. The day I decide to go, please give me the money and I will go my way.
They agreed on that. So, the young man worked for twenty years without holiday and without rest. After twenty years, he came to his boss and said: Boss, I want my money, because I am returning to my
The boss replied: All right, after all, I made a deal with you and I will stick to it. However, before you go I want to offer you something
new: I will give you all your money and send you away; or I will give you 3 pieces of advice and send you away. If I give you the money, I do not give you the 3 pieces of advice. And if I give you the 3 pieces of advice, I will not give you the money. Now, go to your room and think about your answer.
He thought for two days. Then he went to the boss and told him: I want the 3 pieces of advice.
The boss stressed again: If I give you the 3 pieces of advice, I will not give you the money.
And the man replied: I want the 3 pieces of advice.
The boss then told him: No. 1: Never take shortcuts in your life, shorter and unknown paths can cost your life.
No. 2: Never be too curious, for curiosity towards evil can be deadly.
No. 3: Never make decisions in moments of anger or pain, because when you repent, it could be too late.
After giving these 3 pieces of advice, the boss said to him: Here, you have 3 loaves of bread, 2 are for you to eat during the journey and the last is for you to eat with your wife when you get home.
So, the man went his way, after twenty years away from home and from his wife, whom he loved so much.
After the first day of travel, he found a man who greeted him and asked:
Where are you going? He replied: To a distant place which is about 20 days away if I continue walking.
The man said to him: Ol’ boy, this path is too long! I know a shortcut that is very safe and you will arrive in 5 days only.
The man began to follow the path suggested until he remembered the first piece of advice. Then, he returned and followed the long path. Days later he learned that the shortcut led to an ambush.
After a few more days of travel, he found an inn by the roadside, where he could rest. He paid for a room and after taking a bath he lay down to sleep. During the night he woke up as he heard a terrifying scream. He rose to his feet and went to the door to check what happened. As he was opening the door, he remembered the second piece of advice. Therefore he returned, lay down again and slept.
At dawn, after breakfast, the owner of the lodging asked him if he had not heard the scream at night. He affirmed that he heard. Then, the host said: Were you not curious to see what happened? And he replied:
No, I was not.
Then the host said: You are the first guest to leave this inn alive. My neighbour is completely crazy. He usually shouts at night to call
someone’s attention. When some of the guests come out, he kills them and buries their bodies in the backyard.
The man continued his long journey, eager to arrive soon. After many days and nights walking, he was very tired, but he finally saw his house far away. It was night. He saw some light coming out of the window of his house and was able to see the silhouette of his wife. But
he also saw that she was not alone. He came closer and saw there was a man with her. She softly caressed his hair. When he saw that scene, his heart was filled with hatred and bitterness. He decided to rush at and kill them both mercilessly. However, he took a deep breath and he
remembered the third piece of advice.
Then he stopped, reflected and decided to sleep outside that night. He slept in the midst of the bushes, determined to make a decision the next day. At dawn, he was calmer and thought: I will not kill my wife and her lover. I am going back to my boss to ask him to take me back. But before I go, I want to tell my wife that I have always been faithful to her.
He went to the front door and knocked. When his wife opened the door and recognized him, she cried and embraced him warmly. He tried to push her away, but he was not able. Then, with tears in his eyes he told her: I was faithful to you but you betrayed me.
She was shocked, so she replied:How did I betray you? I have never betrayed you. I waited patiently for you for twenty good years.
Then he asked: How about the man that you were caressing yesterday?
And she said:That man is your son. When you left, I discovered I was
pregnant. Today he is twenty years old.
Hearing that, the man asked her forgiveness. He met and hugged his son. Then he told them all the things he had experienced while away. Meanwhile, his wife prepared some coffee for them to eat together, the last bread given by his boss.
After a prayer of thanksgiving, he broke the bread. When he looked at it, he found all his money inside. In fact, there was even more than the right payment for his twenty years of dedication and hard work.