Mercury and the Workmen

A WORKMAN, felling wood by the side of a river, let his axe drop

- by accident into a deep pool. Being thus deprived of the means

of his livelihood, he sat down on the bank and lamented his hard

fate. Mercury appeared and demanded the cause of his tears.

After he told him his misfortune, Mercury plunged into the

stream, and, bringing up a golden axe, inquired if that were the

one he had lost. On his saying that it was not his, Mercury

disappeared beneath the water a second time, returned with a

silver axe in his hand, and again asked the Workman if it were

his. When the Workman said it was not, he dived into the pool

for the third time and brought up the axe that had been lost.

The Workman claimed it and expressed his joy at its recovery.

Mercury, pleased with his honesty, gave him the golden and silver

axes in addition to his own. The Workman, on his return to his

house, related to his companions all that had happened. One of

them at once resolved to try and secure the same good fortune for

himself. He ran to the river and threw his axe on purpose into

the pool at the same place, and sat down on the bank to weep.

Mercury appeared to him just as he hoped he would; and having

learned the cause of his grief, plunged into the stream and

brought up a golden axe, inquiring if he had lost it. The

Workman seized it greedily, and declared that truly it was the

very same axe that he had lost. Mercury, displeased at his

knavery, not only took away the golden axe, but refused to

recover for him the axe he had thrown into the pool.

Mercury and the Sculptor Merry Sunshine facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail