There was once a man who lived in a small village far away from the nearest big city. He and his wife worked hard but they often went to bed hungry in order to feed their children. One night, he woke his wife and said, “I have had the most marvelous dream. I want to tell you what it was so I don’t forget it.”
His wife said, “I have never known you to have such a dream, tell me. I am listening.”
“I dreamt that I went to the city and walked to a bridge spanning a wide river. Next to the bridge, guarded by a soldier, was a little hill and at the bottom of the hill, buried deep, was a bag of gold.”
Neither he nor his wife knew what to make of the dream, but after he dreamed it for a third time, they decided he should go to the city. Maybe there was gold buried beside the bridge. The couple saved and scrimped until the man had enough food to walk the long distance to the city.
When he arrived, tired and dirty, he saw the soldier guarding the bridge. It was all as he had seen in his dream. As he approached the side of the bridge, the soldier came up to him and said, “I have to tell someone about my amazing dream.” When the man nodded, the soldier began. “I dreamt I walked a far distance to a small village where there is a large tree shading a small house. Tangled in the roots is a bag of gold.” The more the soldier described the village, the more astounded the man was. It seemed the soldier was describing his village, the tree beside his little house. The soldier sighed. “If only I could get leave, I’d go to that village. I’d dig up the gold and no one but me would know.”
The soldier seemed to be so sure the gold was in the small village, near the house, sounding exactly like where the man lived, that the man, who was afraid of the soldier, decided to go home without digging near the bridge.
When he arrived home, he told his wife about the soldier’s dream. Together, toward dusk, when no could see them, the couple dug carefully around the tree’s roots. And there, before their incredulous eyes, was the bag of gold.
Wit and wisdom from around the world and through the ages. Tales by Nancy King.