The King And The Cobbler

Once upon a time, there was a good and just king who often disguised himself and traveled around his kingdom to see how his people were living. One evening, he came across a poor hut and looked through the window, seeing a Jew inside giving a blessing. On the table, there was a modest dinner. The king knocked and asked for admittance. “Welcome,” said the Jew. “Sit beside me, where there is enough for one, there is enough for two.” As they ate, the king asked the Jew, “How do you make a living?”

“I am a cobbler,” the Jew replied.

“Every morning I go through the city with my tools, and people bring me their torn shoes.”

“What if there is no work tomorrow?” the king asked.

“Tomorrow?” the cobbler said, surprised. “Tomorrow is tomorrow, a new day. Blessed be God every day!”

The next day, when the cobbler arrived in the city, he saw large signs that read, “King’s orders: This week repairing shoes is prohibited!” “Ridiculous!” thought the cobbler. “What kings don’t come up with! Well, I’ll carry water to people’s homes.” And he earned enough for dinner.

Once again, the king disguised himself and came to the cobbler, saying, “I was worried about you when I saw those signs, and I wondered how you would earn your bread today.” The cobbler told him what he had done that day.

“What if there is no work tomorrow?” the king asked.

“Tomorrow?” said the cobbler. “Oh, tomorrow is tomorrow. Blessed be God every new day!”

The next morning, soldiers stood around shouting, “King’s orders: This week, carrying water and repairing shoes are prohibited!” The cobbler decided to go to the forest, cut wood, and sell it. He earned enough for dinner for two. And again, there was an unknown guest at dinner. While they ate, the guest asked, “What if there is no work tomorrow?”

“Tomorrow?” said the cobbler, looking at him. “Tomorrow is tomorrow. Blessed be God every new day!”

When the cobbler went to the forest the next day, soldiers stopped him and said, “All those who go to chop wood must guard the palace this week.” They took away his axe and gave him a sword. He stood guard all day for free. On his way home, he thought about how he would treat his guest. He asked a village merchant for help, leaving the sword as collateral. Just in case, he made himself a wooden sword and placed it in its scabbard. The unknown guest arrived, surprised to see the meal. “Where did this come from? I saw that you stood guard all day and earned nothing.” The cobbler told him everything and, smiling, showed him the wooden sword. The guest asked, “But what if you are ordered to show your sword tomorrow?”

“Tomorrow?” the cobbler said. “Oh, tomorrow is tomorrow. Blessed be God every new day!”

Just the next morning, as the cobbler arrived in front of the royal palace, a sergeant approached him: “Hey, you, come here! There is a killer in front of the prison wall who needs to be executed today. The king has ordered you to cut off his head!” Horror seized the cobbler:

“I cannot and must not kill a man.”

The sergeant did not give in. A crowd of curious onlookers gathered. The cobbler approached the condemned man, looked into his eyes, and convinced himself that he was not the killer. He quietly prayed to God to save them both from trouble. And then, before he drew his sword from its scabbard, he shouted at the top of his lungs: “God, Lord of heaven and earth, of life and death! If this man is a killer, let my sword cut off his head. And if he is innocent, make my sword, steel, become wood!”

There was a great silence. When the cobbler raised his sword, everyone could see: the sword was made of wood. The crowd cheered with enthusiasm. And the king came out of the palace, approached the cobbler, and revealed himself to him. He hugged him and said:

“Your faith has driven away my fears about the future,” the king said, and he announced the cobbler would become his most trusted adviser.

By Unknown

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