The Wise Woman’s Stone
Poem by Azadeh Azad

A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream.

The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food.
The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him.
She did so without hesitation.

The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

“I’ve been thinking,” he said. “I know how valuable this stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious.

Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me this stone.”

A wise woman with a heart of gold
Travelling in the mountains ice-cold
Found a priceless gem in a river
And concealed it in her satchel fold.

Next day she met another walker
Who was a worn and hungry hawker
The woman opened her bag to share
Her food with the youth, a smooth-talker.

As soon as he saw the fine stone
He urged her to have it as his own
The woman agreed without question
The youth took off for a fate unknown.

He rejoiced in his enormous luck
He was secure with that precious rock
But days later he returned the gem,
With a dilemma he was stuck.

“I give you this stone back,” he said,
“In the hope that you show me instead
What jewel you have within that made you
Grant me your source of thread, bread and shed.”

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