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Emerald lizard – good story

The Emerald Lizard
===================

Brother Pedro lived in Guatemala long ago, hundreds of years
ago, in fact, but all the good he did lives on in the stories
of his work. He was a poor man and stayed poor all his life,
for he gave whatever he had to those in need. He turned his
own small, humble home into a place where the sick could find
care. It is said that at night he walked the city streets
ringing a little bell to remind people to thank God for their
blessings and share those same gifts with others.

One day Brother Pedro was walking toward the city when he came
upon a ragged man sitting beside the road. The man wiped away
a tear as Brother Pedro approached.

"What ails you, my friend?" Brother Pedro asked, perceiving
his despair. "My troubles weigh heavily," the man sobbed.
"My wife is sick and needs medicine. My children are hungry and
want food. But I have no money and can find no work. I don’t
know what to do."

Brother Pedro looked at the suffering man’s face and longed to
help. But his own clothes were just as ragged, his own
cupboard as bare, his own pockets as empty. He had nothing to
give. He turned his gaze upward, hoping for an answer. The
sun’s warm glow spread across his kind face. "Dear Lord," he
whispered, "help me help this man."

There was a rustling at their feet, and from behind a gray
rock, a bright green lizard crept into the sun. Brother Pedro
stooped and gently caught it by the tail. With a smile he
placed it into his companion’s hands. The poor man looked at
Brother Pedro in bewilderment. The he opened his hands and

gasped. The lizard was suddenly rigid and heavy and hard.
But it is still a rich green. The man peered closely, and beheld
a miracle.

The live creature had turned into an emerald lizard.

"Take this and sell it," Brother Pedro said. "With the money
it brings, you will be able to care for your wife and feed
your children, and perhaps you will have enough left over to
tend to others in need as well." The grateful man did as he
was told. He hurried to a jeweler, where he was able to sell
the rare emerald for much gold. With medicine and food, his
family grew healthy and strong again. The years passed. The
man worked hard. His children grew up to be prosperous
ranchers and farmers, and their wealth increased tenfold. But
they lived quietly and sensibly, and took care of their aging
parents, and gave much of their fortune to help the poor.

The day came when their father directed his footsteps back to
the jeweler where he had sold the miraculous lizard. He bought
the gem back and set out to find Brother Pedro. The good Brother
was much grayer now, and even poorer and more shabbily dressed
than before. But his wrinkled face was every bit as kind.

"Do you remember me, Padre?" the visitor asked.

Brother Pedro looked at the stranger closely, searching his
mind. "I met you on the road one day long ago. My wife was
sick, and my children were starving."

Brother Pedro shook his head. "There had been so many!"
"You gave me an emerald lizard, and told me to trade it for
gold."

Brother Pedro’s face brightened. "Of course, of course. Now I
remember. And how did things turn out? How is your wife?
How are your children?"

"They are well." the man replied. "But now I’ve brought your
emerald back. It has given my family health and wealth. You’ve
worked hard all your life in service of others. Take the gem,

and rest from your labors. You can sell it for gold, as I did,
and live your last days in ease."

He took the sparkling lizard from his pocket and placed it
back in the good old man’s hands.

Smiling gently, Brother Pedro stooped and set it on the
ground. At once it turned into a live green lizard and
disappeared under a rock.

~Author Unknown~

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