Back in the day, an old man had a beautiful daughter who fell in love with a young man who was handsome and had great aspirations for himself and his future wife, they married with the old man’s blessing. They led a happy life, but for one problem.
The young man would spend all his time working on alchemy, trying to discover how to turn rocks into gold. Didn’t take long before they ran out of money the young wife struggled to find enough money for food.
Finally, she told her husband to find a job.
“But I am on the verge of discovery, and when I succeed, we will be wealthy beyond dreams!”
Finally and in desperation, the wife told her father about the problem.
He listened to her difficulty and was surprised to learn that his son-in-law was an alchemist, but he did promise to help. He asked if he could come to their home tomorrow.
The young man was expecting some form of berating or told to buck his ideas up, however, and much to the young man’s surprise, his father-in-law took him to one side and told him in confidence that he too, had been an alchemist when he was young.
The father-in-law asked about the young man’s work, and they two spent the afternoon talking. Finally, the old man stood up, clapped his hands together and said.
“You have done everything right just as I did!”
“You are without doubt close to a breakthrough. However you need one more element that will turn dirt into gold, and I have only just discovered this secret.”
“But I am too old to accomplish the process, it requires to much work.”
“Then let me do it”. The young man offered.
“You are young and strong, perhaps you can.” Considered the father in law
“Listen carefully the missing ingredient you need is the shiny powder that appears on the leaves of olive trees. This powder has the one property you need if you have enough of it”
“So how much of this powder do I need?” asked the young man.
“You will need about six pounds, In a cotton bag,” His father in law told him.
The son-in-law thought for a while and said.
“That requires hundreds of olive trees.”
“Yes, and that is why I can’t finish the job myself.”
“OK,” Said the young
“I will finish the job” So the old man loaned him enough money to buy some land with olive trees growing on it.
Every day he examined his trees, digging out the weeds and making sure they were healthy and after the first batch of olives were harvested, he collected the shiny powder from the leaves. There was hardly any on each leaf, so the young man bought some more land, and planted more trees. After ten years of hard work, the young man had been able to collect the six pounds of the magic dust in a cotton bag.
“I now have enough of the magic powder the young man told his father.
“Fantastic!” the old man said. “Because tomorrow I can show you how to turn dirt into gold”
But you must bring my daughter here, we will need her help.”
The following day the old man asked his daughter a question.
“While your husband was collecting the powder from the olive trees, what did you do with the olives?”
“I sold them,” the daughter said, “and that is how we were able to survive.”
“Did you save any of the money?” Asked the father.
“May I see it?”
His daughter went home returned with several bags which the old man opened and poured the gold coins on to the floor. Then he took some of the dirt that his son in law had looked after so diligently to grow his olives and put them next to the gold coins.
“Look,” “you have changed dirt into gold!”
Just for a moment, the young man thought about what had happened Then seeing the wisdom in the old man’s trick laughed out loud. He continued to look after his olive trees while his wife sold the olives. They considered the old man to be the finest of alchemists.