The Wizard Who Got Sick

   There was once a wizard who grew sick.  Every medicine he tried made him feel worse and so he consulted his magic books.  There he found it written    that travel might be good for him, so he decided to go out and wander the    world until he felt better.
     On the first day he came to where a fountain of fresh water bubbled up out of the earth.  A number of women from a nearby village were filling their water jars and washing their clothes in the fountain.  The wizard walked up to the women and asked if he could have some of the water to drink for he was hot and thirsty.
     "Not if you turned to dust before my eyes," said one of the women.  And the rest were all as rude and unfriendly.  All except for one, who looked kindly at the thirsty wizard and said to her companions, "We can spare a drop of water for a poor man. "
     As the wizard drank deeply she said, "There is a corner of our barn ready
    for you if you would like to sleep there tonight."  The wizard thanked her for her kindness and went home with her.
     The woman's husband met them at the door.  "Who is this you have
    brought home?" he asked.
     "A stranger," said the woman, "and our guest this night."
     "Then come in and be welcome," said the man. "I will set the table."
     "I'm afraid I only eat freshly killed beef," said the wizard, who had noticed that they had a single cow tied up next to their house.
     "Then I shall go and kill the cow," said the man without hesitation.  Only the best is good enough for a guest."  That evening they all ate well, and the wizard went off to sleep in the barn.  As he left the house he heard the woman saying quietly to her husband that she did not know how they would manage now that the cow was gone.
      Next morning the couple were woken by the sound of a cow lowing outside.
      "What can that be?" asked the woman.
      "I don't know," said the man. "We only had one cow and we ate that last  night." They went outside and there to their amazement was their own cow, hale and hearty as ever, and very much alive.
      But there was no sign of their guest.
      Meanwhile the wizard went on his way and, as the sun rose high in the sky, he met a man gathering brushwood.  "Ho, brother, you won't grow fat that way," said the wizard.
      "What more can I do," answered the man.  "There's no other work for me."
      The wizard waved a hand and the dry twigs and branches became a thriving vineyard, full of ripe grapes ready for picking and making into wine. "May you prosper, brother," said the wizard and he went on his way.
      Further along the road he saw a man walking sadly among a grove of dead trees.  "Hey, that's a fine orchard you have there!" cried the wizard. And sure enough, the trees were suddenly heavy with fruit.  "Prosper and be well, brother," said the wizard and he went on his way.
       Next he saw a man carrying rocks on his back.  "That's a fine herd of     sheep you have there, my friend," said the wizard.  At once all the rocks turned into fat sheep.  "May you prosper always," cried the wizard and he went on his way.
       For a whole year he traveled about doing deeds of this kind, until he was completely cured of his sickness.  Then he decided to return the way he had come and see how the people he had helped were faring.
     First he came back to the man whose stones he had turned into sheep.  The man had slaughtered all the beasts and was having a huge feast.  "Can you spare some of that delicious looking meat for me?" asked the wizard.
     "Be off with you," shouted the man.  'Did you help me look after the sheep?"
     "Give me at least a morsel, for the sake of charity," said the wizard.  But the man only shouted at him to go away.  The wizard waved his hands and the roasting sheep turned back into stones.
      Then he went on his wag until he come to the orchard, where men were     busy picking fruit.  "May I have an apple?" asked the wizard.
      "Clear off!" shouted the owner of the orchard.  "We don't want your sort here."  The wizard gestured with both hands and the trees became as barren as they had been before he had caused them to flower and bear fruit.
      The wizard went on his way again, until he came to the vineyard.  "May I have some of your grapes?" he asked one of the workers.
      "I'll ask the master," said the man. 
      He soon come back, shaking his head. "The master says he'll not give you a single grape."  The wizard raised a hand and the vineyard vanished.  A bundle of dead twigs lag on the ground in its place.
      Again the wizard went on until he came to the house where the man and   woman lived who had killed their only cow to feed him.  The couple came to  the door, smiling and happy to see him.
      "How good it is to see you again," said the man.
      "May we offer you something for your journey?" said the woman.  The wizard smiled.  "Truly you are good people," he said.  "For all the good you have done and for your kindness to me I will reward you.  Every morning you shall find four hundred gold coins under your bed. May you always    prosper." With these words he vanished.
      The couple were very glad with their newfound fortune, and you may be sure they lived very happily after that time.
      As for the wizard, he went home and lived on for many years. And when   ever he felt sick or low in spirits he would go and visit the couple who had     offered him such kindness, and they would sit and talk of the wags of the     world until the fire went out in the hearth. 



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