The Wealthiest Man

by | Jun 11, 1998 | Gratitude, Treasure, Wealth

There is a story of a wealthy man named Karl who loved to ride his horse over his vast estate and congratulate himself on his good fortune. On one such ride, he came across an old tenant farmer named Hans. Hans had just stopped to eat his lunch in the shade of a great oak tree and had his head bowed in prayer.

His prayer finished, Hans looked up and said, “Greetings, sire, and God bless you! It is always an honour to see you. I was just giving thanks for my food.”

“Humph!” Snorted Karl, seeing the coarse dark bread and cheese that were the old man’s lunch. “If that was all I had to eat, I don’t think I would feel like giving thanks.”

“Oh, it is quite sufficient,” said Hans. “Yet it is more than remarkable that you should ride by today, sire.,, I feel I should tell you about a strange dream I had just before waking up this morning.”

“What did you dream, old man?” Asked Karl with a condescending smile.

“It seemed that I was standing in a place of peace and beauty. Then I could hear a voice saying, ‘The wealthiest man in the valley will die tonight.’ “

“Dreams!” Snarled the landowner. “Nonsense!” And he galloped away.

“Lord, have mercy on his soul, if he really is to die so soon,” prayed the pious old man as he watched the horse and its rider disappear from view.

“Die tonight?” Mused Karl. It was a silly thought. He felt fine, and surely the best thing for him to do was to forget the old man’s story of his dream. But he couldn’t forget it. As the day went on, he realized he didn’t feel well at all. So he sent for his physician.

Karl told his doctor the whole story. “Sounds like poppycock to me,” replied the physician, “but for your peace of mind, let me examine you.”

The examination complete, Karl’s doctor was earnest with assurances. “Karl, you’re as strong and healthy as that handsome horse you ride. There’s no way you are going to die soon. Forget that old man and his stupid dream!” Feeling a bit foolish for all his worry, he thanked the doctor and dismissed him.

The next morning, there was a loud knocking at Karl’s door. “It’s about one of your tenants,” the messenger said. “Old Hans died in his sleep last night.”

Rubel Shelly The FAX of Life


The Wealthiest Man