A middle-aged feller lost his job when the company where he worked for many years had to make cuts.
Down on his luck, he figured he’d talk to a wealthy couple he knew of who helped people in despair. He traveled three days to get to their beautiful house on 1,000 acres of land.
Anxiously, the man knocked on the door. An elderly woman greeted him with a cheerful smile, and he told her of his troubles. She took him by the arm, gently ushering him to the living room.
There, the woman’s husband was sitting in an overstuffed chair, talking with others who were also seeking help. Old photo albums were piled up on the end tables and coffee table. The visitors each discussed their troubles, and then the old couple would open a different photo album as they responded.
The middle-aged man listened as a man in his late 20s explained his situation. He was in a wheelchair and told how he had been hit by a drunk driver and was now paraplegic. He was bitter that his good health was taken by a negligent driver and pitied himself.
Then the old man reached down and took off his prosthetic leg.
“Used to be I worked in the mine and made a good living,” he said. “Then there was an explosion, and my leg got blowed off.” He laughed and showed a picture of himself in his 20s, waterskiing behind a boat. His wife turned the page to a picture of him in the intensive care unit just after the explosion.
The middle-aged man noticed how the group didn’t pay much attention to the photo of the old man having fun in his younger years waterskiing, but they stared in awe at the gruesome scene of him in the hospital. The visitor leaned against the doorframe of the living room and continued watching.
“I read the fable Buscrat’s Magic Treasure and learned something that eventually changed my entire situation, physically and financially,” the old man said.
His wife chimed in. “If he hadn’t had his leg blown off, he’d probably still be working in that mine, wouldn’t have read the fable, and wouldn’t have ever gone into business for himself. Our life is better now.”
Another woman spoke next, talking about her wayward child who was getting caught up with drugs. She pitied herself for the grief she had to endure.
The old woman sat next to her and patted her hand while the old man reached for another photo album. They showed photos of their children when they were young, then pointed out one in particular, noting how she had gotten in trouble as a teenager with boys and the law. They showed their house at the time and then told how they sold it and moved far away so they could get their daughter away from the wrong influence of friends.
“I had a good business going at the time but decided the sacrifice to start over would be worth saving our daughter,” the old man said. “We also learned the promise from Buscrat’s Magic Treasure, and our daughter began to understand what the acronym SILT meant in that fable.”
“He had to start all over with a new business”, the old woman said. She turned the pages to current photos of their daughter, who was living a happy life with her husband and family. “It was well worth the sacrifice.”
A middle-aged woman spoke up. “My husband and I fight, and we’re going to get divorced,” she said. “You seem happy together. I wish I had a marriage like yours. What kept your marriage strong and happy?”
“You can either blame each other, or support each other during your troubles,” the old woman said. “The outcome will be very different, depending on which you choose.” She opened up other photo albums, showing pictures of the troubles they had been through together. The more disastrous the photo, the more the group seemed to marvel, and the more the old couple laughed.
Then they showed photos of the special things they had done that brought magic to their lives, from the promise written on the outside of the coin of Buscrat’s Magic Treasure.
Their marriage has had rocky moments, but they never blamed one another, because everyone’s got shortcomings. It was important, they said, to complement each other when things are good, support each other when things are bad, and to follow the promise written on the coin.
They talked about how challenging life was while they were raising their family and struggling with finances. They could’ve made seemingly easier decisions by abandoning their commitments to each other, to their family and to their God.
“Now that the dust has settled, our finances are taken care of, and our children are all raising their own children, life is good,” the old man said.
“Looking back on life, there’s not much of anything that makes you more content than having the person at your side who shared all those troubles and experiences with you,” the old woman added.
Then the old couple gave a coin from Buscrat’s Magic Treasure to each person in the room and encouraged them to read the fable and follow the promise.
The middle-aged man left with a smile. Although he was still temporarily out of a job, he compared his life to the troubles the other people were having. Anxious for the coin to bring magic to his life, he thought along his way, “Thank Heaven, I’ve got troubles!”
A few years later, that middle-aged man had become a supervisor at his new job and one of the most respected people in his neighborhood. People often came to him for advice. They could be seen entering his house with a glum look on their faces, and then later coming out refreshed, curiously examining a special coin in their hands.