The Beggars’ Shame

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You may be wondering what ever happened to the other two brothers. Well…

One day two beggars walked slowly down the road. They were the two elder sons of the widow, and it was clear from their appearance that they had long ago squandered all the gold they had. Astonished to see such a beautiful place, they decided to stop and beg something from the owner.

But when they looked across the fields, they suddenly recognized that the people happily picnicking by the pretty stream were none other than thei very own mother and brother–and a beautiful lady who must be the brother’s wife. Blushing with shame, they quickly picked up their begging sticks and crept away silently.

With vision, passion, and perseverance we can accomplish anything. Your gifts: use them or lose them!

“You job is the relentless pursuit of who God made you to be. And anything else you do is sin, and you need to repent.” Pastor Rob Bell

The Magnificent Brocade

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The youngest son has returned to present the magic brocade to his mother.

He entered his mother’s room and unrolled the brocade. It gleamed so brightly that the widow gasped and opened her eyes, finding her sight entirely restored. Instantly cured of all illness, she rose for her bed.

Together she and her son took the precious work outside to see it in the bright light. As they unrolled it, a strange, fragrant breeze sprang up and blew upon the brocade, drawing it out longer and longer and wider and wider until at last is covered all the land in sight. suddenly the silken threads trembled and the picture burst into life. Scarlet flowers waved in the soft wind. animals stirred and grazed upon the tender grasses of the vast fields. Golden birds darted in and out of the handsome trees and about the grand white house that commanded the landscape.

It was all exactly as the mother had woven it, except that now there was a beautiful girl in red standing by the fish pond. It was the fairy who had embroidered herself into the brocade.

The kind widow, thrilled with her good fortune, went out among her poor neighbors and asked them to come to live on her new land, and share the abundance of her fields and gardens.

It will not surprise you to learn that the youngest son married the beautiful fairy girl  and they lived together happily for many, many years.

Next time: “The Beggars’ Shame”

The Youngest Son Returns

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Brocade in hand, the youngest son began his journey home.

When the young son work up just before daylight, the fairies had all gone, leaving his mother’s cloth under the shining pearl. Not waiting for daybreak the boy quickly clasped it to his chest and, mounting his horse, galloped off in the waning moonlight. Bending low upon the stallion’s flowing mane and clamping his mouth tightly shut, he passed again through the icy sea and up and down the flaming mountain. Soon he had reached the mountain pass where the old woman stood waiting for him in front of her stone house. Smiling warmly, she greeted him.

“Young man, I see you have come back.”Yes, old woman.” After he dismounted, the woman took his teeth from the horse and put them back in his mouth. Instantly the horse turned back to stone. Then she went inside the house and returned with a pair of deerskin shoes.

“Take these,” she said, “they will get you home.”

When the boy put them on he found he could move as though he had wings. In a moment he was back in his own house.

Next time: The Magnificent Brocade

Waiting for the Fairies

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The youngest sun made it to Sun Mountain.

Arriving at Sun Mountain the boy quickly tapped his horse. It reared up and flew with great speed to the door of the palace. The boy got down and entered the front hall. There he found one hundred beautiful fairies , each sitting at a loom and weaving a copy of his mother’s brocade.

The fairies  were all very surprised to se him. One came forth at last and spoke.

“We shall finish our weaving tonight and you may have your mother’s brocade tomorrow. Will it please you to wait here for the night?”

“Yes,” said the son. He sat down, prepared to wait forever if necessary for his mother’s treasure. Several fairies graciously attended him, bringing delicious fruit to refresh him. Instantly all his fatigue disappeared.

When dusk fell, the fairies hung form the center of the ceiling an enormous pearl which shone so brilliantly it lit the entire room. Then while they went on weaving, the youngest son went to sleep.

One fairy finally finished her brocade, but it was not nearly as well done as the one the widow had made. The sad fairy felt she could not part with the widow’s brocade and longed to live in that beautiful human world, so she embroidered a picture of herself on the original work.

Next time: The Youngest Son Returns

Fire, Water, and Sun

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The youngest son galloped away on the stone pony to begin his adventure.

After three days and nights the youngest son came to Flame Mountain. On every side fires spit forth wildly. The boy stared at the terifying sight, then spurring his horse he dashed courageously up the flaming mountain, enduring the ferocious heat without once uttering a sound.

On the other side of the mountain, he came to a vast sea. Great waves frosted with chunks of ice crashed upon him as he made his way painfully across the freezing water. Though cold and aching, he held the horse’s mane tightly, persisting in his journey without allowing himself to shudder.

Emerging on the opposite shore, he saw at once the Sun Mountain. Warm light flooded the air and flowers blossomed everywhere. On top of the mountain stood a marvelous palace and from it he could hear sounds of girlish laughter and singing.

Next time: “Waiting for the Fairies”

The Youngest Brother’s Quest

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His two older brothers having failed to retrieve their mother’s magic brocade, the youngest son now sets out to bring the treasure back.

After waiting and eaiting for the secnd son to return home, the widow became desperately ill. At last she turned blind from weeping. Still neither of her sons ever came back.

The youngest son, beside himself with worry, begged his mother to let him go in search of the brocade.

I’ll bring it back to you, Mother, I promise.”

Faint with exhaustion and despair, the widow nodded weakly.

Traveling swiftly, the youngest son took only half a month to arrive at the mountain pass. There he met the old woman in front of the stone house. She told him exactly the same thing that she had told his two brothers, but added, “My son, your brothers each went away with a box of gold. You may have one too.”

With steady firmness the boy refused. “I shall not let these difficulties stop me,” he declared. “I am going to bring back the brocade that took my mother three years to weave.”

Instantly he knocked two teeth out of his mouth and put them into the mouth of the handsome stone horse. The stone horse came alive and went to the tall green tree and ate ten pieces of red fruit hanging from its branches. As soon as it had done this, the horse lifted its elegant head, tossed its silver mane, and neighed. Quickly the boy mounted its back, and together they galloped off toward the east.

Next time: “Fire, Water, & Sun”

The Woman’s Second Son

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The eldest son had second thoughts about retrieving the magic brocade and never returned home. Now the weaver’s second son is sent.

At home the poor mother waited two months for her eldest son to return, but he did not come back. Gradually her illness got worse. At length she sent her second son to bring the brocade back.

When the boy reached the mountain pass he came upon the old woman at the stone house, who told him the same things she had told his older brother. As he learned all that he must do in order to obtain the brocade, he became frightened and his face paled.

Laughing the old woman offered him a box of gold, just as she had his brother. greatly relieved, the boy took it and went on his way, deciding also to head to the city instead of returning home.

Next time: The Youngest Brother’s Quest

Second Thoughts

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Searching for the magic brocade the eldest sons gets some advice form and old lady and has some second thoughts.

The boy asked the old woman, “How can I recover the brocade that the fairies of the Sun Mountain have carried off?”

“That will be very difficult,” said the old woman. “First, you have to knock out two of your front teeth and put them into the mouth of my stone horse. Then he will be able to move and eat the red fruit hanging from this tree. When he has eaten ten pieces, then you can mount him. He will take you directly to the Sun Mountain. But first you will have to pass through the Flame Mountain which burns with a continuous fierceness.”

Here the old woman offered a warning. “You must not utter a word of complaint, for if you do you will instantly be burned to ashes. When you have arrived at the other side, you must then cross an icy sea.” With a grave nod she whispered, “And if you give the slightest shudder, you will immediately sink to the bottom.”

After hearing all this, the eldest son felt his jaw and thought anxiously of the burning fire ans lashing sea waves. He went white as a ghost.

The old woman looked at him and laughed.

“You won’t be able to stand it, I can see,” she said. Don’t go. I’ll give you a small iron box full of gold. Take it and live comfortably.”

She fetched the box of gold from the stone house and gave it to the boy. He took it happily and went away. On his way home he began thinking about all the money he now had. “This gold will enable me to live very well. If I take it home, I will have to share it. Spending it all on myself will be much more fun than spending it no four people.”

He decided right then and there not to go home and turned instead to the path which led to a big city.

Next time: “The Woman’s Second Son”

The Old Lady and the Stone Horse

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The poor widow asked her eldest son to go east and search for the brocade.

The boy nodded and quickly set out on his journey. After traveling eastward for more than a month, he came to a mountain pass where an old white-haired woman sat in front of a stone house. Beside her stood a handsome stone horse which looked like it longed to eat the red fruit off the pretty tree that grew next to it.

As the eldest boy passed by, the old lady stopped him.

“Where are you going, young man?” she asked.

“East,” he said, and told her the story of the brocade.

“Ah!” she said, ‘the brocade your mother wove has been carried away by the fairies of the Sun Mountain because it was so beautifully made. They are going to copy it.”

Next time: “Second Thoughts”

Gone with the Wind

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The poor widow finished her masterpiece, her brocade, Suddenly…

A great wind from the west howled through the house. Catching up the rare brocade it sped through the door and disappeared over the hill. Frantically the mother chased after her beautiful treasure, straight toward the east and in a twinkling it had completely vanished.

The heartbroken mother, unable to bear such a calamity, fell into a deep faint. Carefully her three sons carried her into the house and laid her upon the bed. hours later, after sipping some ginger broth, the widow slowly came to herself.

“My son,” she implored the eldest, “go to the east and find my brocade for me. It means more to me than life.”

Next time: “The Old Lady and the Stone Horse”

Done

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The poor woman worked nonstop on the brocade.

Day after day the mother continued her weaving. At night she bruned pine branches to make enough light. The branches smoked so much that her eyes became sore and bloodshot. But still she would not stop.

A year passed.

Tears from the mother’s eyes began to drop upon the picture. she wove the crystal liquid into a bright clear river and also into a charming little fish pond.

Another year went by.

Now the tears from the mother’s eyes turned into blood and dropped like red jewels upon the cloth. Quickly she wove them into a flaming sun and into brilliant red flowers.

Houyr after hour without a moment’s stop, the widow went on weaving.

Finally, at the end of the third year, her brocade was done. The mother stepped away from her work and smiled with pride and with great happiness. There it was: the beautiful house, the breathtaking gardens filled with exotic flowers and fruit, the brilliant birds, and beyond in the vast fields sheep and cattle grazing contentedly upon the grass.

Next time: “Gone with the Wind”

 

She Worked As If Possessed

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At her youngest son’s suggestion, the poor woman bought all the colored silk yarns she needed, set up her loom, and began to weave the design of the painting she bought into the brocade.

Day and night, moth after month, the mother sat at her loom weaving her silks. Though her back ached and her eyes grew strained from the exacting work, still she would not stop. She worked as if possessed. Gradually the two elder sons became annoyed.

One day the eldest one said with irritation, “Mother, you weave all day but you never sell anything.”

“Yes!” grumbled the second. “And we have to earn money for the rice you eat by chopping wood. We’re tired of all this hard work.”

The youngest son didn’t want his mother to be worried. He told his brothers not to complain and promised that he would look after everything. From then on, every morning he went up to the mountain by himself and chopped enough wood to take care of the whole family.

Next time: “Done!”

 

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