Sales Pitch

(Jewish Folktale)

A real estate agent was trying to sell a summer home to a man. The agent said, “This house is really something special. Look at how close it is to the river. It is almost as if you are right on the river. If you want the best, this is the home to buy.”

“Well,” said the man, “what’s so good about being near the river?”

“What’s so good!” the agent exclaimed. “I don’t even know where to begin. You will have a magnificent view of the river. Your whole family can bathe and swim in it. You can wash your laundry in it. You can fish in it. And you can row in it!”

The man countered, “But what if the river starts flowing too high, and washes it away the house?”

“What are you talking about!” the agent quickly answered. “I mean, just look at how far this house is from the river!”

Sisters Take Each Other to Court

(Chinese Folktale)

A wealthy man died and gave his assets to his two daughters. Each daughter got an equal share. But since it was difficult to assign an exact value to the inheritances, each daughter suspected that the other had received the larger share. They went to court, each demanding that they receive the extra value of the other’s inheritance. The Judge, however, did not bother figuring out how much the assets were worth. His solution was much simpler. All he did was tell the two sisters to exchange their inheritances!

City Dwellers Visit the Country

(Jewish Folktale)

Two city dwellers decided to visit the country for the first time in their lives. Upon arriving there, they noticed a man plowing land, and they said to each other, “Why is he just turning land like that for no reason?” Then they saw someone planting grains, and they remarked, “This guy must be insane. He’s taking food and burying it!” Eventually, one said to the other, “This place is crazy. I’m leaving.” The other replied, “Well. I don’t know. Maybe it is crazy. But I’m gonna hang around here for another week, and get a better sense of how they do things.”

So the first man left and the second man stayed. As days passed, the man who stayed noticed that vegetables were sprouting. He contacted the other man, who traveled back, and learned that what looks crazy to a city dweller might be very sensible outside of the city.