In Search of Faith

By: Samad Behrangi
Translated by: Bahar Jaberi
Once upon a time there lived the poorest and most unlucky man in the whole world. Anything he tried to do to change his luck had no effect.
One day he said to himself: "I can't just sit here and wait for things to happen, I have to go and find Father Fate and ask him what my destiny will be. Maybe I can think of something to solve my problems."
So the next day he started on his journey. On his way he met a wolf. The wolf blocked his path and said, "Human, where are you going?"
The man said, "I'm going to find Father Fate."
The Wolf said, "Please, If you find him tell him that the wolf says hello and he wants to know what the cure is for his chronic headache."
The man agreed and continued on his way.
After some time, he reached a township where its king had just been defeated in a battle and was running away. As soon as the king saw the man he yelled, "Hey, where are you going?"
"Well, your Highness," replied the man, "I'm going to find Father Fate to see if I can change my destiny."
The king made the man promise to ask Father Fate a question for him: "Why is it that I'm always defeated in battles, but have never been able to defeat my enemies, even once?"
The man agreed and continued on his journey. After some time, he got to the seashore. He looked around, but not even a boat could be seen. He was wondering what to do when a huge fish suddenly stuck his head out of the water and said, "Human, where are you going?"
The man said, "I'm going to find Father Fate, but it looks like I can't go any further, because I don't have a boat."
The huge fish said, "Listen, I'll take you to the other side on one condition and that is you should ask Father Fate why my nose always itches."
The man agreed and climbed on the fish's back. When he got to the other side of the sea he continued walking. He finally came upon a man who had his pant legs folded and was watering his garden. The garden had thousands of potted plants in different sizes. Some of the plants were so poorly watered that the dirt in the pot was dry as sand. There were also some pots that were so wet that the water was spilling over the rim, but the gardener still kept pouring more water in.
The gardener stopped watering and noticed the man looking at him, "Where are you going?"
--"I'm going to find Father Fate."
--"And when you find him, what will you tell him?"
--"I will give him a piece of my mind, that's what."
--"Okay then speak, I am Father Fate."
--"First of all," the man said, "tell me what all of these pots are."
The gardener looked at the pots and said, "Every one of these pots belongs to a person on the face of this earth."
"Show me mine," demanded the man.
The gardener searched and finally showed the man a very small, dry pot with a dying plant. The man angrily grabbed the watering can from the gardener's hand and poured the remainder of the water in his pot.
"Okay," said the man, giving back the watering can, "now that I'm satisfied, tell me why the large fish's nose itches all the time."
Father Fate said, "There is a large diamond caught in the fish's nose. If you hit him smartly on the head with your fist, the diamond will fall out and the fish will be cured."
"I met a king in such and such town and he wants to know why he is always defeated in battles."
The gardener smiled and said, "Because women are peaceful. That king is not a man, but a woman who is pretending to be man. If she wants to win battles, she must marry a man and have her husband fight her wars."
"And finally," Said the man, "What is the cure for the wolf's headache?"
Fate replied, "If he eats the brain of a stupid person, his head won't hurt anymore."
The man happily left Father Fate. When he got to the sea, the huge fish was waiting for him. The moment he saw the man he asked him if he had found Father Fate.
"Yes I did find him," replied the man, "but you have to take me to the other side before I can tell you what he said."
As soon as the fish took the man to the other side, the man told him what the cure to his itching problem was. The fish said, "Then go ahead. Punch me as hard as you can. You can take the diamond as a reward."
The man looked away in disgust, "I don't need these frivolous things anymore. I have watered my pot and I'm in good shape. Good-bye."
No matter how much the fish pleaded, the man refused and finally he was on his way to see the king. When he found the king and told him what his problem was, the king got down on his knees and said, "Then marry me. My kingdom will be yours."
The man just shook his head and said, "I don't think so. I've filled my pot with water and I am satisfied. I don't want to become a king." So he left the tearful king.
After some ways he found the wolf waiting for him. The wolf said, "Human, you look happy, did you find him?"
"Yup," said the man, "and your cure is the brain of a stupid human."
The wolf thanked him and asked him if he had met with anything interesting on his way. So the man told him the whole story from beginning to the end. And finally he said, "I've filled my pot with water and I don't need things like diamonds and kingdoms to make me happy."
The wolf suddenly jumped at the man's throat and killed him. Then he proceeded to eat his brain. After he was done, he licked his lips and said, "I don't think I'll ever be able to find a more stupid person than this guy."