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Folk Tales from Around the World No.1

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Folk tales

Storytelling has been around way before there were printing presses and publishing houses. Stories made their way through story tellers telling tales of distant lands. Folk tales reflect our history, our traditions and cultures, our ethics and morals. They teach us lessons and take us back to our grandmother’s laps.

We are getting folk tales from around the world to share with you, and if you have one, please share with us!

The Farmer Who Followed His Dream

A Palestinian folk-tale

Once upon a time, in the village of Sirees in Palestine, there lived a poor farmer.

He lived in a small humble house with his wife and seven children, and every morning he stepped out his door to greet two ancient lemon trees in his garden at the front. The farmer and his family worked hard all year round, but money was still short.

One morning, while they were having breakfast, his wife said, "You look worried. What is the matter?"

The farmer replied, "I had a dream last night, and I can’t get it out of my head. I dreamt that I had to go to Jerusalem - I don't know why - and had to wait at a certain place by Damascus Gate."

"Wait for what?" asked his wife.

"I have no idea," said the farmer with a resigned look.

He went off to work and by the end of the day, had forgotten all about his dream. But that night and the night after, he had the same dream again.

After having the same dream three nights in a row, and consulting with his wife, he decided to follow his dream and go to Jerusalem.

The farmer was too poor to afford a horse or mule, so set out on foot at dawn the next day. After three days of walking, he reached the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem.

There he stood and waited. People came and went, bought and sold, went to work and came back. Everyone passed him by and still he waited.

But nothing happened.

Night came, shops closed, people went home, but still he waited.

Next day, the same thing happened.

On the third day he was still there.

On the third night, as the shops were closing, a man approached and said, "Salam my friend, I own the leather shop just behind you, and I noticed you have been standing in the same spot for the last three days. What is your story?"

The farmer told the shopkeeper about his dream, "... and as you can see, I am still waiting for something to happen."

The shopkeeper laughed and laughed and said, "That’s the craziest thing I've ever heard. You walked for three days and waited here for three days and nights - just because of your dream?"

"Well, yes," the embarrassed farmer said.

The shopkeeper laughed even more and said, "Go home. You have already wasted six working days. If everyone left their jobs to follow their dreams, no work would ever get done. Take me, for example. I had the same dream every night for seven nights, and in the dream, I saw treasure buried between two ancient lemon trees in a garden in front of a small house in a village called Sir..sir… - you see, I can't even remember the name! Do you really think I am crazy enough to close my shop and go to that godforsaken place to look for treasure I saw in a dream? I..."

Before the shopkeeper could finish, he saw to his surprise that the farmer had disappeared up the road out of sight.

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