A man that made money from cutting down trees was working in the forest. When he went to hit a big one near
a river, he missed it. What was worse, his ax flew out of his hands and into the water. He was feeling sorry for
himself when the god Mercury came and asked what was wrong. After the man told him what happened, Mercury
jumped into the river. He came up with a golden ax, but the man said it wasn’t his. He tried again and found a silver
one that wasn’t the man’s, either. Finally, he jumped a third time and brought up the ax that the man lost.
was happy to get it back and thanked him. Mercury was so pleased with his honesty that he gave him the other two
axes that he found as gifts.
The man went back to his town and told everybody what had happened. One of them was jealous, and he went
into the forest and dropped his ax in the river on purpose. As before, Mercury came and jumped to get the lost ax.
When he brought up a silver one, the man said it wasn’t his. Then Mercury got his lost one but the man said his ax was a
golden one. That made Mercury angry, so he didn’t help him find the golden ax or give him back his lost one.
* forest 森林 ax 斧頭 god 神 golden 金的 silver 銀的 pleased 高興的 jealous 嫉妒的
on purpose 故意地