The Greedy Priest

The Greedy Priest Fairy Tale

There was a greedy priest who had lived with his daughter. He had loved his daughter very much. And he had loved gold very much too. Because of his love of gold, the priest put golden lattices on his windows in stead of iron lattices.

He had thought:

-‘Wish my walls, too, were made of gold!’

Then he went to church and prayed to God.

-‘Lord, I beseech you to fulfill my request. May the walls of my room be come gold.’

After three days had passed, a man came to see the priest and said:

-‘Listen to me priest, God has heard your prayer. A small pot is standing behind the church doors. Go and take it. Then go to the spring and wash yourself. Rinse out the little pot, fill it with water, and bring it home. What ever you pour water on and touch with your hands will turn to gold.’

The greedy priest carried the water in the pot home, and sure enough, what ever he poured water on and then touched with his hands turned to gold.

He drank some of the water. Then he went into the garden with his be loved daughter and poured all of the water out onto the flowers. Then he began touching flowers, stones, and trees with his hands. Every thing turned to gold.

His daughter said:

-‘ Father, why did you do that? The flowers won’t smell sweet any more.’

The greedy priest answered:

-‘Daughter, take this rose. Take it to the jeweler, and find out how much money he’ll give you for it.’

The girl took the rose to the jeweler and brought home a small bundle of money.

The Priest said:

 -‘See, daughter, how much money you’ve brought.

His daughter was happy. The priest was so over joyed that he even lost his appetite. He didn’t put a morsel in his mouth all day long. The next morning, the priest’s daughter said:

-‘Father, I’m hungry. I want to eat.’

The Priest replied:

-‘I don’t, eat something your self, but I’m not hungry.’

The priest went to the garden and once again didn’t eat any thing all day long. That evening he came home and went to bed. The second morning he got up and said:

-‘I’m hungry, daughter. Go to the market and buy some eggs.’

The priest’s daughter brought some eggs home and made dinner. She gave the eggs to her father. As soon as the priest put his hand on the egg, it turned to gold. Then he touched another egg. It, too, turned to gold be cause the priest had drunk water from the little pot so that now every thing that touched his throat turned to gold.

The Priest said:

-‘I’ll die of hunger.’

Then he burst into tears. When his daughter saw the priest crying, she rushed to embrace him and asked:

-‘Father, why are you crying?’

The priest wept all the more, and his daughter wept too. When the priest returned her embrace, his daughter turned to gold. The priest sobbed.

-‘I had only one daughter, and she has turned to gold.’

He went to the garden and walked around the garden for a long time. Then he returned to the house, sat down, and began looking out the window. He saw a beggar sitting and gnawing on a crust of bread. It seemed to be a sign.

He prayed:

-‘Lord, I need nothing in the world, except to rid myself of this unfortunate golden touch. I would be better off poor.’

In the morning, he went to church and prayed.

-‘Lord, give back my daughter, give back my crust of bread. I don’t need any gold.’ Another day passed. The priest could barely stand on his feet because of his hunger and thirst. Again he went to church, and again he prayed to God to take from him what he had conferred upon him. The man who had appeared from no where to announce that God had given him the golden touch came again.

-‘Take the pot, priest and go to the spring again. Wash your self, and rinse out the pot. Then fill it with water. Sprinkle the water on every thing you touched with your hands and turned to gold. Every thing will be come as it was before.’

The priest did as he was in structed. As soon as he sprinkled his daughter with water, she sneezed and asked:

-‘Father, have I been asleep long?’

The Priest replied:

-‘For a long time, daughter, for a long time.’

The priest sent his daughter to market and asked her to buy bread and all sorts of food for dinner. The priest sat at the table and ate with a big appetite. After he had eaten his fill, he broke the golden lattices on his windows. He gave the gold from the lattices to the poor, and from that day on he was no longer greedy.

(From Bonnie C. Marshall’s ‘The Flower of Paradise and Other Armenian Tales’)

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