I first learned about the author from his book, "The Book of Virtues"
. This book contains stories upon stories on various themes, such as mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, as well as citizenship and leadership.
I particularly remember and like the following stories: "The Roses of Saint Elizabeth", "An Excellent Wife", "The Most Precious Thing", "The Lion's Hair", and "The Three Wishes".
Let me now share with you this story from Sweden: "The Three Wishes".
Once there was a poor woodcutter who was given three wishes by a fairy for sparing the tree where the fairy lived. When the man went home, he told his wife about this encounter, and they pondered on what to wish for. Soon enough, they got hungry, and the man wished for the sausages that his wife used to make so that they can have something for dinner. Immediately, a great sausage fell through their chimney and into their hearth. His wife got angry at him for wasting one of their wishes, and inadvertently wished that the sausage was stuck in the man's nose. It did, and the man desperately wanted to have the sausage removed. The wife stopped him for she didn't want to waste their last wish. The man, however, wouldn't agree to this, and the wife eventually obliged.
So those three wishes from the fairy turned out to be sausage for dinner. But it was the best sausage they had ever eaten. As the man said, "...there's nothing much better in the world to wish for than a full stomach."