The man could not believe it because he knew the whole forest. “He must be joking!” But perhaps he was right, and there was no harm in going a little further and being alert and watching to see whether there was a copper mine.
And he went in, and he found a copper mine. He said, “Now I know why he was continually saying, ‘You are such an idiot, working every day in your old age.’”
Now went only once every week. But the old tradition continued: he would touch his feet, and the old man would smile and say, ‘You are such an idiot!’”
“But,” the woodcutter said, “now this is not right, because I have found the copper mine.”
The old man said, “You don’t know. If you go a little further, you will find a silver mine.”
He said, “My God, why didn’t you tell me before?”
The old man said, “You didn’t even believe me about the copper mine – how could you believe about the silver mine? Just go a little further.”
This time there was suspicion but not so much; there was a certain trust arising. And he found the silver mine.
He came back and he said, “Now I have found enough silver that I will be coming only once in a month. I will miss you very much. I will miss your blessing very much. I have started loving to hear from you: ‘What an idiot you are.’”
But the old man said, “You are still an idiot, it makes no difference.”
The woodcutter said, “Even though I have found the silver mine?”
He said, “Yes, even then. You are just an idiot and nothing more – because if you go just a little deeper there is gold. So don’t wait for a month, come tomorrow.”
Now he thought he must be joking. If there is gold, why should he be sitting here under this tree in old rags, with no shelter from the rain, no shelter from the sun, depending on people who bring food to him…sometimes they bring it, sometimes they don’t. And if he knows where the gold is, I don’t think… This time he is certainly joking. But there is no harm. He has always been right. Who knows? This old guy is a little mysterious.”
He went further and found a big gold mine. He could not believe his own eyes – this is the forest he has been working in for his whole life, and this is the forest where that old man is sitting.
He brought much gold, and he said, “I think you will not say anymore that I am an idiot.”
He said, “I will continue. Come tomorrow because this is not the end; this is only the beginning.”
He said, “What? Gold is just a beginning?”