Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Smell of Money, A Folktale

Not recorded in the Bible. A legend, folktale about King Solomon told by Jewish rabbis. Nevertheless, this story is rather funny and amusing and at the same time – teach us lesson about justice and the use of wisdom. Very make sense! Here is the story:

Hannah earned money for her family by making brooms. She gathered long stiff grass into a bundle, then tied the bundle to the end of a long stick to make a broom. She carried her brooms to the marketplace and stood there all day, selling them to earn a few coins.

At the end of the day, as she was walking home, she passed a bakery. “Oh,” she thought. “Maybe I could spend one coin on something tasty.” Then she decided, “No, my family needs the money. I’ll just enjoy the smells and be on my way.”

So Hannah stood outside the bakery door and smelled the freshly baked bread, the warm honey cake, and the sweet almond cookies. The baker saw her at the door and grew suspicious. “What are you doing?” he asked her.
I am smelling your delicious breads and cakes,” she answered. “It’s almost as good as eating it.”
Smell my breads and cakes? You will have to pay for that.”
And he tried to grab her sack of coins.
But I didn’t eat anything,” she cried. “I didn’t eat them. I just smelled them.”

Everyone in the market came rushing when they heard her. Some said the baker should be paid. Others said the girl owed nothing. They argued more and more until someone shouted out,
Ask the king. Let Solomon decide!
So they took Hannah and the baker to King Solomon, the wisest king of all.

Solomon sat on his throne. “Speak,” he said. “I will listen and I will judge.”
The baker pointed his finger at Hannah and said, “That girl has to pay for what she took. I worked all day to make bread and cake and cookies. She stood at my door and smelled it all. It filled her with pleasure. She even admitted that it was practically as good as eating it.”
I should not have to pay,” said Hannah. “The smell of the food was floating on the air. I only breathed the air. Do I have to pay to breathe?

Baker,” said Solomon. “Do you care so much about money that you want to be paid even for the air around you?
The law says that you must pay if you take something that someone makes. She took the smells of the food that I make, so she must pay.”
That is the law,” said Solomon. “The young woman must pay for what she took.”
Everyone in the crowd looked at each other in surprise.
Young woman,” said King Solomon, “take out your money.” So she did.
Now shake the coins together in your hands.”
She shook them once, twice, three times.

Did you hear that?” said Solomon to the baker. “Now she has paid you.”
What do you mean?” he asked.
She has paid for the smell of your breads and cakes with the sound of her money.”
Hannah shook the coins again and again, and everybody else shook with laughter.

This is funny! [Smile]
The “sound” of money is the right kind of payment for the “smell” of cakes.
One sense exchanged for another sense makes sense!

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