Make Room for One More - A Yiddish Folk Tale from Poland

Once upon a time there lived a very poor man. He shared a small, one-room shack with his wife and nine children. The shack was too noisy for the man. The shack was too crowded for the man. The man was very unhappy.


Mendel was the town’s wise man.


The man told Mendel about his problem.


“Do you have any animals?” asked Mendel.


“Yes,” said the man. “I have one cow, two goats, and five chickens.


“I can help you,” said Mendel. “Put the cow in your home. Then come see me in a week.”
 

The man did as he was told. He returned to Mendel a week later.

 

“I took in the cow,” he said. “But now there is more noise. Now it is more crowded.”

 

“I can help you,” said Mendel. “Put the goats in your home. Then come see in a week.”

 

The man did as he was told. He returned to Mendel a week later.

 

He said, “I took in the goats. I took in the cow. Now there is even more noise. Now it is even more crowded.”

 

“I can help you,” said Mendel. “Put the chickens in your home. Then come see me in a week.”

 

The man did as he was told. He returned to Mendel a week later.

 

“I took in the chickens, the goats, and the cow,” he said. “Now there is noise day and night. There is no room to move or breathe.”

 

“I can help you,” said Mendel. “Let’s try one last thing. Move the animals out of your home. Then come see me in a week.”

 

The man did as he was told. He returned to Mendel a week later.

 

“Thank you,” he cried. “I did just what you said. Suddenly my house is so quiet that I can finally get some sleep. Suddenly my house seems to have more space than we need. It’s a miracle!”