The Man, the Cow, & the Foreigner

A Man acquired a calf. He put the calf in a small penned area near his home. He rarely cared for the calf and yet it grew. It became a gaunt, feeble, mangy Cow. It produced no offspring and no milk yet because the Man spent nearly nothing caring for the Cow, this did not grieve him.

One day, one of the Man's neighbors passed by his house and noticed the pitiful Cow. He knocked on the Man's door and inquired as to why the Man owned such a wretched animal. The Man explained that he had acquired the Cow a long time ago as a calf and that it had grown into the gaunt, feeble, mangy creature it was. The neighbor advised the man to butcher the Cow, that he might get some value out of it and not waste any more food or space on the wretched animal. But because the Man spent very little on the Cow and had no other use for the small pen it lived in, he ignored the advice and allowed the Cow to continue on in its wretched state.

Time passed and there was another knock on the man's door. This time, a Foreigner inquired of the Man's Cow. He did not advise the Man regarding the care of the Cow. Instead, he asked to buy it. This surprised the Man, that anyone would be willing to purchase such a pathetic animal. But the Foreigner gently offered a generous price; one that would return to the Man everything he had invested in the Cow. The Man accepted the Foreigner's offer, glad to have back what little he had given to the Cow and relieved that the wretched creature would no longer be his responsibility.

The Foreigner paid the man the full price he had offered and led the Cow away from the man's home that very day. He led the feeble creature gently since it was weak from living in such a small pen with little nourishment its whole life. He fed the Cow regularly and made sure it had plenty of water. He stopped frequently to allow the Cow to rest and gain strength for the journey.

It was a long journey, but by the time the Foreigner and the Cow reached his home, the Cow had begun to gain in size and strength because of the foreigner's care.

Upon reaching his home, the Foreigner placed the Cow into a large, lush pasture along with the rest of his herd. Daily he visited the Cow, caring for its health and well-being until the Cow was indistinguishable from the rest of his herd.

Over time, the Cow became plump, strong, and vibrant. It bore a number of calves of its own and with them, produced milk for the Foreigner and his family. The Cow lived to a ripe old age in the Foreigner's herd.

So, the pitiful Cow of a careless man became a healthy Cow in the Foreigner's herd.

So it is with man and God.