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The Horse's Reflection

retold by Doug Lipman

A shop-keeper came to Rabbi Meir of Premislan. "Rabbi, I am ruined. Do you know what is happening across the street from my shop? Someone else is opening another shop. He will take all my business. I will lose my livelihood!"

Rabbi Meir said to the frantic man, "Sit down. You have sometimes taken your horse to drink from a pool of water, have you not?"

"Yes, Rabbi. But...."

The rabbi continued. "Have you ever noticed how the horse stamps in the water before drinking?"

"Yes, of course."

"Good. I will tell you why the horse stamps his hoof." The rabbi leaned forward in his chair. "The horse sees his reflection in the water. He doesn't know he is seeing himself; he thinks there is another horse at the pool. The horse is afraid there won't be enough water for both of them. So he tries to chase away the other horse by stamping."

The rabbi paused.

"But there is plenty of water for many horses. God's abundance flows like a river."

The rabbi leaned back in his chair and smiled. For the first time that day, the shop-keeper smiled back.

This story is presented as part of a group of two stories about abundance:

  1. The Horse's Reflection
  2. The Goose and the Rooster

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This page was last updated on Monday, March 10, 2003
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