adapted from an old Jewish Folktale with permission from Annette Harrison, Master Storyteller
A woodcutter thought he had all the worries in the world. He was miserable. He felt he had more troubles than he could bear. One day, on his way to cut wood, he met on old woman. He told her about his worries. She listened carefully and told him she could help him.
The old woman took him to a large cave full of sacks and told him these were the worry bundles of all the villagers. Some bundles were rather small and others quite large. “You may look in each sack and exchange your worry bundle for any of the others, but choose wisely.” she told him.
The woodcutter was overjoyed and relieved. He spent a good deal of time examining the worry bundles of the other villagers. At the end of the day he started to leave the cave with his own because he realized that everyone in the village had worries and troubles and he was no worse off than anyone else. The woman said, “Don’t forget your blessing bundle. Everyone has one but often they forget."
He found his own and saw all his blessings: his family, his work, his friends, his animals, and much more.
The man went home feeling good. Sometimes he complained a bit, but he was never miserable again.