The Image of Mercury and the Carpenter
: Aesop's Fables
A VERY POOR MAN, a Carpenter by trade, had a wooden image of
Mercury, before which he made offerings day by day, and begged
the idol to make him rich, but in spite of his entreaties he
became poorer and poorer. At last, being very angry, he took his
image down from its pedestal and dashed it against the wall.
When its head was knocked off, out came a stream of gold, which
the Carpenter quickly picked up and said, "Well, I think thou art
altogether contradictory and unreasonable; for when I paid you
honor, I reaped no benefits: but now that I maltreat you I am
loaded with an abundance of riches."