The Magic Stick

Part Three

The rich man was worried. 

“Her husband loves her too much,” he thought. “If I want her, I must be clever.”

"At last he said, "Your husband gave you clothes and jewellery, but I can give you more than that."  

"What? What do you mean?" the woman cried. 

"Can your husband make miracles?" the rich man asked. 

"Miracles? No, of course he can't make miracles," the woman answered. "Only God can make miracles. Men cannot make them."  

"But I can," the man said, "because I love you. Love can make miracles. If your husband loves you, he can make miracles for you. If you love me, I will make miracles for you." 

"Make a miracle for me now," the woman said. 

"I can't," the rich man answered. "You must promise to love me first. You must leave your husband and come to me. Then I will make wonderful, wonderful miracles for you." 

The woman said nothing, and the rich man went away. 

That night, the poor man came home late. He was very tired and hungry. His wife brought water for him, and he washed himself. She brought delicious food for him, and he ate it. 

“My poor husband,” she thought. “He works so hard for me, and he is so tired and hungry. The rich man is foolish. How can my husband make miracles? It's impossible.” 

But the next day, and the day after, and the day after that, the rich man came to her house again. 

"Did your husband make a miracle for you yesterday?" he asked the woman. "Leave him, and love me, and I will make many, many miracles for you every day." 

At last, the women began to listen to him. One day, when her husband came home, she was sad. 

"Wife, dear wife, what is wrong with you?" cried her husband. "Are you sick?" 

"No," she said. "I'm sad because you do not love me." 

"What?" cried her husband. "But you know that I love you! I bought you new clothes. I bought you gold jewellery! You’re the most precious thing in the world to me!" 

"But you don't make miracles for me," his wife said. 

Her poor husband was very surprised. 

"Miracles? Of course I can't make miracles," he said. "Why do you want a miracle? Who gave you the idea?" 

"Our neighbour came to see me today," the woman said. 'Love makes miracles,' he said. 'If a man loves a woman, he will make miracles for her.'" 

Her husband was very worried. 

“That wicked man wants to take my wife,” he thought. “All this trouble comes from him. When he first came here, she wanted new clothes. Then she wanted gold jewellery. And now she wants a miracle! What can I do? If I don't make a miracle, perhaps my wife will leave me and marry him!” 

The next day, he went slowly to work in his brother's field. 

“I must pray,” he thought. “Only God can help me now.”

He looked up to heaven. 

"Oh Lord God," he prayed. "Please help me to make a miracle. I love my wife and I want to keep her. Don't let this rich man take her from me." 

He worked all morning. He was moving stones from his brother's field. In the middle of the day, he sat down under a tree to rest. A man was sitting there already. 

"Who are you?" the poor man asked. 

"I am a wizard," answered the man "And I have a gift for you. Look, here are two sticks. They make miracles." 

"Miracles?" the poor man said. He was happy now. "What kind of miracles?" 

"If you touch a person with the first stick," the wizard said, "he will become a donkey." 

The poor man thought of the rich man, and he smiled. 

"A donkey?" he said. "That's very good. And if I touch him with the second stick, what will happen?" 

"He will become a man again," said the wizard. 

The poor man took the sticks and jumped up. 

"Oh, thank you, my friend!" he said. "I prayed to God and he sent you to me. Now I can keep my wife and punish my enemy."