THE SICK MAN AND THE GODS
A poor man had fallen sick, so he prayed to the gods and vowed 'If I recover
my health, I will sacrifice a hundred oxen in your honour.' The gods wanted
to test whether the man was telling the truth, so they granted his prayer and
the man recovered from his sickness. When the man was well again, he did not
have any oxen that he could sacrifice, so he made a hundred oxen out of dough
and burned them on the altar, saying, 'O supernatural beings, behold, I have
fulfilled my vow.' The gods wanted to pay him back for having tricked them,
so they stood at the head of his bed in a dream and said, 'Go to the beach,
in such-and-such a place, and you will find there a hundred talents of gold.'
The man woke up, filled with joy, and went running down to the designated place
to look for the gold. When he got there, he fell into the hands of pirates and
was taken captive. The man pleaded with the pirates and said, 'Just let me go
and I will give you a thousand talents of gold!'
The story shows that the gods hate liars.