The Stranger and His Horse
In distant lands, on an island situated far from the mainland, lived a beautiful young woman called Selina. She had just finished work for the day, picking fruit for the local farmer. Now she had a two-mile walk home, as there were no cars on their island and she was too poor to afford a horse.
On her way home Selina met a handsome man with a beautiful horse grazing on the side of the road. As soon as they saw each other they fell in love. The handsome man smiled as she approached him and looked very tired. Selina reached into her bag and offered an apple to the stranger and his horse.
After a while, the man said, “I’ve travelled from the mainland for many days now without rest. Do you know anywhere I might be able to stay for a few days?”
“We have a barn that you could rest in and grandmother’s meals are very delicious.”
The stranger’s eye brightened up with the thought of eating a good meal.
Selina’s parents had died when she was very young and had lived with her grandmother for as long as she could remember. When they arrived at her home, they could already smell the delicious meal wafting from the wooden hut.
Grandmother instantly liked the young man who was dressed in rags and owned no shoes.
“It’s not what a person wears that’s important. It’s what’s inside their heart that’s count,” she said. Kirin never told them much about himself but they knew he had a good heart.
Later that evening, Selina made up a bed for Kirin in the barn.
“I hope you sleep well,” she said.
“Thank you. I’m sure I will,” he replied, resting his head on the pillow and falling asleep quickly.
The next morning, Kirin woke up feeling refreshed after a restful sleep. The bed he had slept in was luxury compared to sleeping outside as he had done the night before. He walked down to the stream and splashed some cold water on his face.
“Good morning,” Selina greeted him. “Did you sleep well?”
“Yes, it was the best sleep I’ve had in a long time.”
He watched as Selina filled two buckets with fresh water and struggled to lift them back up to the hut.
“I’ll carry them for you,” Kirin offered. “It’s the least I can do.”
Selina was grateful. Her back ached terribly this morning.