Sept. 1, 2020
A poor man had twelve children, he had to work day and night just to feed them. So, when the thirteenth child came into the world, not knowing what to do, the poor man ran out and walked the roads, intending to ask the first person he met to be the godfather.
The first person to come his way was God, who already knew what was in his heart, and God said to him, "Poor man, I pity you. I will hold your child at his baptism, and care for him, and make him happy on earth."
The man said, "Who are you?"
"I am God."
"Then I do not wish to have you for a godfather," said the man. "You give to the rich, and let the poor starve."
Said the man. Then he turned away from the Lord, and went on his way.
Then the devil came to him and said, "ooh, hello! Are you looking for a godfather? If you will take me as your child's godfather, I will give him an abundance of gold and all the joys of the world as well."
The man asked, "Who are you?"
"I am the devil."
"Then I do not wish to have you for a godfather," said the man. You deceive mankind and lead them astray."
The poor man went on his way, and then Death, on his withered legs, came walking toward him, and said, "Take me as your child's godfather."
The man asked, "Who are you?"
"I am Death, who makes everyone equal."
Then the man said, "You are the right one. You take away the rich as well as the poor, without bias. You shall be my child's godfather.
Death answered, "I will make your child rich and famous, for he who has me for a friend cannot fail."
The man said, "Next Sunday is the baptism. Be there on time."
Death came to the baptism of the thirteenth child as promised, and served as godfather in an orderly manner.
After the boy came of age his godfather appeared and asked him to go with him into the woods. Death showed the young man an herb that grew there, saying, "Now you shall receive your godfather's present. I will make you a famous physician. Whenever you are called to a sick person, I will appear to you. If I stand at the sick person's head, you can say with confidence that you can make them well again; then give the person some of this herb, and they will recover. But if I stand at the sick person's feet, they are mine, and you must say that the patient is beyond help, and that no physician in the world could save them. But beware of using this herb against my will, or something very bad will happen to you."
It was not long before the young man had become the most famous physician in the whole world. People said of him, "He only needs to look at the sick in order to immediately know their condition, whether they will recover, or are doomed to die."People came to him from far and wide, taking him to their sick, and giving him so much money that he soon became a wealthy man.
Now it came to pass that the king became ill. The physician was summoned and was asked if a recovery were possible. However, when he approached the bed, Death was standing at the sick man's feet, and so no herb on earth would be able to help him.
"If I could only deceive death for once," thought the physician. "He will be angry, of course, but because I am his godson, he might let me get away with it. I’ll risk it." He took hold of the sick king and laid him the other way around, so that Death was now standing at his head. Then he gave the king some of the herb, and he recovered and became healthy again. However, Death came to the physician, made a dark and angry face, threatened him with his finger, and said, "You have betrayed me. I will overlook it this time because you are my godson, but if you dare to do it again, it will cost you your neck, for I will take you yourself away with me." Soon afterward the king's daughter became seriously ill. She was his only child, and he cried day and night until his eyes were going blind.....