The Farmer’s Three Wishes (A Fable)

(The original, Sovietized version is on this page. This has been universalized and completed to my personal satisfaction.)

There was a farmer who lived on farm, and he was tilling his land when his plow uprooted an Old Persian Oil Lamp, so he picked it up, brought it to his hut and got a cloth to wipe it down. After a few rubs with the cloth he loooked up and saw that there was a stranger eminating from the lamp where the fire would have been lit.

“I am the Genie Of The Lamp. You have freed me, so I shall give you three wishes. What is your first wish?”

“My first wish is that I get a better, newer hut. This hut is sturdy but old, and I wish for something sturdier and newer.” The farmer said.

“Your wish is my command.” The genie said. And the farmer found himself in a bigger, nicer hut with two rooms and a sturdier construction. The farmer looked over his new hut and deemed it good – better, even, than he would have wished for.

“What is your second wish?” the Genie asked.

After a second’s thought, the farmer replied “I wish for me a wife to help out with the chores and make this house a home.”

“Your wish is my command.” The genie said. And before his eyes the farmer saw a woman standing before him. She was nice to look at, stocky enough for the chores she would have to do, a ready helpmeet for the day’s work and a comfort for the nights. The farmer looked over his new wife and deemed her good – better, even, than he would have wished for.

“And what is your third wish?” The genie asked.

The farmer paused for a bit, thinking over what he might want. His eyes then went over to his neighbor’s plot of land, and how, instead of one cow and one bull, he had three cows and one bull – enough to actually create a surplus of milk and calves for the neighbor to sell. And a smile came to the farmer’s eyes.

“You have your third wish?” The genie asked.

“Yes. Remove two of the neighbor’s three cows. Leave him one cow and one bull, but the other two must disappear.” The farmer said.

“As you wish.” The genie said.

The farmer found himself alone again and back in his old hut, only this time it looked a little bit more worn down from age. He then looked over to his neighbor’s yard and found that the neighbor had but one cow and one bull – and was weeping for the loss of the two other cows.

And the farmer was glad, as he had gotten what he had truly wanted with the third wish even as the memory of what he had had after the first two wishes was fading into the realm of unattainable fantasy – no longer even something to wish for, which it had been before he had found the Old Persian Oil Lamp.