The Young Man with the Small House

Shir Attias: So there’s this young man and he has a family and he has four kids and they live in this tiny little hut, err like a house, it’s like a small house and the man has all these kids in this very small house and he’s crowded and unhappy that he lives in such a small house so he goes to the old wise man and he tells him like pray to God for me, I need your prayers so that God will give me a bigger house and the wise man says, “Okay but do this first” and he says, “ take two goats and put them in your house” and the wise, err the young man thinks he’s like batshit crazy but he’s like “okay” and he like takes the two goats and puts them in his house so then a week passes, the house didn’t get any bigger. He goes back to the wise man, he’s like “It’s not getting any bigger and now there’s goat shit everywhere” he’s like “okay now take five rabbits put them in the house” so he goes back and he puts the five rabbits in his house and nothing changes and it’s only getting more crowded and there’s all these bunnies running around, the kids are so excited with the bunnies, and na na na, and he goes back to the wise man and this continues and the wise man tells him to put three cows in his house and he puts the cows in his house and then he tells him to put, to bring in more kids and host a party for everyone and he keeps telling him to bring more and more and more into the house and eventually one day the young man goes to the old wise man and he’s like “MY HOUSE IS SO SMALL! WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOUR PRAYERS AREN’T WORKING?!” and he says, “Okay alright now take everything I told you to put in your house and take it all out. So he goes back and he takes out the goats and the rabbits and the cows and everything and then he looks and he goes “OH MY GOODNESS, MY HOUSE IS SO BIG!” and he goes to the wise man and he’s like “OH IT’S SUCH A BIG HOUSE, what have you done, it’s a miracle you have performed, your prayers have worked!” And the young man is happy with all his children and that’s the end of the story.

Shir learned this story from her grandfather, who used to tell this tale to her when she was little and would complain about having a small bedroom. Shir’s grandfather is from Israel which is where her grandfather likely learned the story in the first place. The purpose of the tale was to make the listener feel grateful for what they had no matter how small their living space was. Shir performed this story in our room while she and  a friend were sharing some Jewish folk tales with me. I thought this peace was interesting. It was very simple and easy to understand. I felt like the animals in the story could have been replaced with anything that took up space in the house, and the message still would have come across.