Adaptation of a folk tale of unknown origin
One warm summer afternoon, when the sun was about to set, a woman went out to the garden of her house with a large jug of water in her hands to water the flowers. She loved plants and loved nothing more than taking care of them with care!
As he gazed at his beautiful begonias, he saw three old men with snow-white beards come through the fence of their property and sit on the grass. Puzzled, she put the mug down on the stone bench at the entrance and went over to talk to them.
– Good afternoon gentlemen. I don’t know them… Are they our new neighbors?
One of the elders, the one sitting on his right, hastened to reply:
– No, ma’am, we’re not from around here.
The woman realized that they were very old and also seemed tired and hungry. Generously, he encouraged them to enter.
– I have the feeling that you are hungry and I would like to invite you to try the stew that I have just prepared. My husband and I will be delighted to share our humble table with you.
The elders looked at each other and the one sitting on the left spoke.
– You are very kind but we cannot be invited to a house together.
The woman was stunned.
– Excuse me, but I don’t understand what you’re saying. What do you mean that the three of you can’t go in together? My house is not very big but there is room for everyone.
The third old man, standing in the middle of the other two, smiled and explained everything.
– My name is Wealth and I come to bring you all the fortune you can imagine. My partner on the right is called Success and he comes loaded with fame and honors. The one sitting on my left is called Love and he wants to give them affection and tenderness in abundance.
For a moment the woman thought that those strange guys were kidding her but before she could say anything, Wealth kept talking.
– Only one of us will be able to dine with you, because you must choose between wealth, success or love. Don’t worry, we’ll wait here while you decide with your family.
The woman nodded and ran into the house. Her husband was lying on the bed, very focused on reading the book he was holding in his hands; Her daughter, a pretty ten-year-old girl, sat on the wooden floor, combing her favorite doll’s hair.
– Listen to me, please, I have something urgent to tell you!
They both looked at her intrigued, and she recounted word for word the conversation she had just had with the white-bearded elders. When she finished, her husband thought it was all very strange.
– Calm down, darling! Isn’t it a joke?
– No, no, I assure you that they are telling the truth. I know how to recognize when someone is blatantly lying and these three gentlemen seem very sincere!
Well, let’s assume you’re right. If what they say is true, we are facing an incredible opportunity that we cannot miss!
– Yes, it is, but we have to hurry up and decide which of the three of us we invite to dinner!
The man began pacing back and forth, more nervous than a lizard in a shoebox.
– I think we should choose Wealth… Can you imagine what it would be like to be rich forever? We would have everything and live like kings!
The wife shook her head.
– Oh, I don’t know, I don’t know!… I’m not clear at all. Wouldn’t it be better to invite Éxito? We would be admired all over the world and people would treat us in a special way. I have always wanted to be a famous and important person!
The girl, who was listening attentively to the conversation, looked at them in disbelief and expressed her most sincere opinion.
– Dad, mom, I don’t understand you! The most important thing in life is love and it is Love who we should invite to dinner.
The parents fell silent and felt deeply embarrassed. The mother bent down and caressing her face, said:
– You are right, my dear, love is what has the most value.
The father also stood up to him and recognized his mistake.
– Oh, my daughter, how well you speak and how well you reason! I’m going out right now to inform you of our decision!
Barefoot as he was, he went out into the garden and saw the three old men waiting in silence, just as they had promised.
– Gentlemen, we would very much like the three to come, but since we can only choose one, we have decided that we will gladly invite Love. If you would be so kind, come with me, please.
Love, the old man with the most good-natured face, approached him and together they walked on the grass. They entered the house and the woman motioned for him to sit down at the table.
– It is a pleasure to have you with us, Mr. Love.
The old man smiled and took a seat. At that very moment, the other two appeared in the dining room. The family looked puzzled and the woman approached them with kindness.
– Come in, please, they are at home. We are happy that they also join the dinner but I would like to know why in the end the three of them accept our invitation. They made us choose one and we decided that it was Love… Excuse me, but the truth is that I don’t understand anything!
Mr. Love looked at the girl sitting next to him, winked at her, and solved the mystery.
– You see, good woman, everything has an easy explanation: if I had chosen success or wealth, the other two would have been left out, but they have chosen me, and where I go they go, because where there is love, there is always success and wealth.
Now everything was clear! The couple understood that living surrounded by love is what really gives complete happiness. Thanks to their wonderful daughter they had chosen well, because love would also bring them success and wealth in life.
The six of them warmly hugged each other and then shared the aromatic home-made stew, which by the way, was finger-licking good.