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."