The Image of Mercury and the Carpenter

A very poor man, a carpenter by trade, had a wooden image of Mercury before which he made offerings day by day. He entreated the idol to make him rich: but in spite of his entreaties he became poorer and poorer. At last, being very wroth, he took his image down from its pedestal, and dashed it against the wall.

When the idol?s head was knocked off, out came a stream of gold, which the carpenter picked up and said; "Well, I think you are altogether contradictory and unreasonable; for when I paid you honor, I reaped no benefits, but now that I maltreat you, I am loaded with an abundance of riches."