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(The Book of Tales: The Stranger)

   A man was driving one day and saw another struggling to get his cart out of the ditch beside the roadway.  The one the wagon pulled over and offered the burdened fellow.  Afterwards he was rewarded with ample praise and a silver coin without asking.  Continuing on his journey to the Market of Mithar the man in the wagon happened upon yet another man in distress, only this time he was on the other side of the road and his cow was stuck in the mud from the rains before.  She had strayed far from her fields.  Again after rendering aid he was given much gratitude of praise and eight copper coins for his trouble; all without asking.
   Now much further down the Wall-stone Road the stranger came upon yet another person in need.  This time an elderly woman striving to pick up her dropped walking cane beneath an enormous load packed upon her back.  Offering her a ride, after he stepped down from his wagon to assist, she told the young man she had no coin, and her last loaf of bread was for him but stashed deeply away in her mounted bundles.  Her praise and delight were free.  The stranger smiled and helped her all the more up into his wagon and down the road to her destination.

   After a while the old woman inquired of the young stranger, “A man with a cart passed me by, and yet another striking his cow and neither helped me as they went alone their way.  Why ever did you?”
   The smiling stranger easily replied, “I only helped you and even them before, out of their own ditch of troubles, because – it was the right thing to do.  Someday, when I have no coin, no bread or voice to lead praise with, I have abiding faith that God will aid me.  I did so, not for all those things, but as a way of thanking God in advance before he does so.”

[FOR THOSE WHO thought I only wrote of death, doom and gloom].


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