The Magic Stick
The rich man shook his head.
"But a good husband doesn't only give his wife new clothes," he said. "He gives her gold. Where’s your gold necklace? Where are your gold rings? Why doesn't your husband give you those?"
He opened a box and showed her some beautiful gold jewellery.
"Look at these," he said. "Divorce your husband and marry me, and I will give all these to you."
The woman did not listen to him.
"Go away," she said. "I love my husband and he loves me, and we are happy together."
But the rich man came again, every day, and every day he showed her the box of jewellery.
At last, she began to think, “Perhaps the rich man is right. Why doesn't my husband buy gold for me? Doesn't he love me?”
That day, she didn't make a fire. She didn't cook a meal. Her husband came home late, after a long day in the fields. He was tired and hungry.
"There's no dinner for you tonight," his wife said. "You don't love me!"
"What?" her husband cried. "But my darling, I love you more than anything. You are the most wonderful person in the world!"
"Then why don't you buy me some gold jewellery?" she said. "When a man loves his wife, he gives her a gold necklace, and rings for her fingers."
Her husband looked worried.
“I spent money on her new clothes,” he thought. “How can I find more for gold? I’ll go and see my brother. Perhaps he will lend me the money. I must buy gold for my dear wife. I want her to be happy.”
The next day he went to visit his brother.
"Lend me some money, brother," he said, "and I will work for you in your field."
"All right," his brother said, "but you must work hard. There are many stones in my field and you must move them all away."
Her husband agreed, and took the money. He went to the market and bought some gold jewellery. Then he took it home to his wife.
His wife was very happy. She put the necklace round her neck, and put the rings on her fingers.
"Look at me!" she said. "Am I not beautiful?"
"You’re very beautiful," her husband said. "If you are happy, I am happy."
She put her arms round his neck.
"Thank you, thank you, my dear husband," she said. "Now I know that you love me."
The next day, her husband went out very early, before the sun rose in the sky.
He ran to his brother's field. It was covered with stones.
I must work very hard now, he thought. I must start early, and stop late. I must pay my debt to my brother.
His wife was working happily at home.
“I’ll make a wonderful dinner for my husband tonight,” she thought. “He gives me wonderful presents. He works hard for me. I know that he loves me.”
"Hello?" a voice called out. "Are you there?"
The woman went outside. Her rich neighbour was there.
"Ah, it's you," the woman said. "Listen, neighbour. You were wrong about my husband. Yesterday, he bought me this beautiful jewellery. He loves me very much, and I love him. I will not divorce him. I will not marry you."