The four musicians

Four musicians passed the ruins of an old castle on their way back from the inn. The moon was shining on the weathered walls, and one of them said, “What do you think, comrades? Shall we play a song for the old count who haunts here?”

The other musicians thought that was a good idea, and they began to play their instruments. When the tune was over, a gray little man appeared. He gave each of the four musicians a beech branch and said, “Take this home for your children. They like to eat beech nuts.”

On the way home, three of the musicians laughed and threw away the beech branch. They said to each other, “That old man should have given us something else. Our children don’t eat beech nuts anyway!”

Only the bass player kept the beech branch as a memento in his bass. The next morning, his children came running and asked, “Father, what did you bring those weird yellow nuts for? They’re no good. They’re way too hard to eat.”

When their father looked at the branch, it had turned into real gold. The other musicians heard of this wonder and searched everywhere on the road to find their branches again, but they found nothing.