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Today I continue the theme of the Peasant Bible, a collective term for Hungarian folktales based on biblical topics. This story comes from the popular tradition of tales about Jesus' missing childhood years. It is one of my favorites Peasant Bible folktales to tell (and, incidentally, the only one that ever got me into trouble with religious parents).
Toys and candies
The workshop of Joseph the carpenter was at the edge of the village. One day, little Jesus decided he was old enough to help his mother Mary in any small way he could, and volunteered to take Joseph's lunch to the workshop by himself. Carrying the pot very carefully, he met a group of older boys who immediately decided to beat him up. Little Jesus could not outrun them with the pot, and was not willing to fight - so, as a last resort, he leaned down, picked up a handful of dirt, and threw it at them. The dirt turned into candies and toys; the boys stopped to pick them up, and little Jesus got safely away.
This story is as adorable as it is short, and it resonates really well with children. Parents have complained before that it is not in the biblical canon (they probably missed the "folktale" part of the intro), but the way I see it, the messages of this short little tale are actually pretty applicable:
1. If little Jesus himself can get bullied, that means you don't have to do anything wrong for people to pick on you.
2. Little Jesus could probably have called down fire and brimstone on all bullies - but he didn't.
3. It is okay to run, and it is okay to tell your parents. Also, smarts win over force.