Thursday, October 15, 2015

Folklore Thursday: Jesus Christ is a Showoff

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Continuing our weekly selections from the Peasant Bible, a collection of Hungarian folk legends featuring biblical themes. This short little story comes from Ortutay's collection of Hungarian folktales. I personally like this one for two reasons: One, my great-grandfather was a blacksmith, so it is close to home, and two, Jesus is kind of a showoff in this one.

The Master of Masters

In the days when Jesus Christ walked the earth, he once came upon a blacksmith's workshop. The sign above the door said in big bold letters:


Jesus smirked quietly, then walked in, and got himself hired as an apprentice.
Soon after, a rich man stopped by to have his horse shod. The blacksmith ordered Jesus to do the job. Jesus went outside, cut a leg off the horse, took it inside the workshop, nailed the horseshoe on it comfortably, and then put the leg back on the horse. He did the same thing with the other three legs, and the rich man rode away, satisfied with the work.
Three days later, Jesus left his apprenticeship and moved on. Just after he left, another rich man stopped by to get his horse shod. The blacksmith thought "if an apprentice could do it, so can I," and cut a leg off the horse, nailed the horseshoe on it, and then tried to put it back... but no matter how he tried, it could not be reattached. Scared that the rich man would have him punished for hurting the horse, he sent a boy running after Jesus, begging him to come back and fix things. Jesus returned, reattached the leg in one swift move, then turned to his former master:

"And now" he said, smiling "Please take down that sign that says 'Master of Masters,' and put up one that says 'Blacksmith.'"

And then he probably dropped the mic.