There walked a man upon the road, carrying with him a basket of bread and fruit. God and the Devil saw him, and together they had a wager to see which one of them could convince the man to give away his evening meal.
So God came to the man, and the man looked at God but saw only a poor girl wearing rags and covered in dirt. God said to the man, “May I eat of your bread and fruit, for I have none of my own?”
And the man said back to God, “Why do you not have any of your own?”
God said, “I have given away all that I have and all that I have made, and now have nothing left of my own.”
To which the man replied, “Then I shall give you nothing. You cannot expect others to compensate you for your lack of planning and foresight. I have earned this fruit with the hardship of my labours. So why should I give up that which I have worked so hard for to reward you and the frivolous nature of your ways?”
And the man went on his way and left God behind.
The man came then upon the Devil, and the man looked at the Devil and there saw before him a lord in all his finery. The Devil said to the man, “May I eat of your bread and fruit, for I have none of my own?”
And the man said back to the devil, “Why do you not have any of your own?”
The Devil said, “My men and I have been working all day harvesting our crops from far and wide across the land. I have had it sent ahead to the place that I call home, and a great feast awaits me there, in the great halls of my abode. But alas it is further from here than I imagined and I shall not reach home tonight.”
To which the man replied, “Then I shall give you this food of mine. Your hard work deserves reward, and no-one can fully legislate for bad luck and bad timing.”
And the man gave the Devil his basket of bread and fruit and went on his way, and the Devil went with him.
1. Written May 2014__________patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.