Writings of Porphyry Ivanov. Parables.

The Two Brothers.

Once two brothers walked in the woods. Suddenly there appeared from nowhere an old man who walked in the opposite direction. And he says to them, “Do not ye go that way.” After a while the brothers looked back, but that old man vanished without a trace.

The brothers talked the matter over, but decided not to follow the old man’s advice, and walked the road he warned them about.

They walked a bit, and suddenly saw a mountain of gold before them. “But how sly that elder was,” the brothers think, “he wanted to protect us from gold.” There was a lot of gold, the brothers could not take it away at once. Then one brother sends the other, “Go home and bring the cart, we’ll drive all the gold away and then divide it in half.” And they decided to do so. One brother went for the cart, the other re­mained to guard the gold.

The brother who went home walks and thinks, “Why shall I share with my brother? It’ll be better to get rid of him.” He comes home, tells his wife about all this and says, “Bake thou buns, my brother loves them, and put poison in.” And the wife did so, baked the buns and put the poison in. He took the cart and returned to the brother who remained to guard the gold. But that brother also thinks, “Why shall I share the gold with my brother?” His brother arrived with the cart and buns, and when he came down from the cart, that brother killed him with an ax. He loaded all the gold on the cart, and saw the hot buns. “Now,” he thinks, “I’ll have eaten with pleasure.“

He ate and died.


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