In the old days when London Bridge was full of stalls and shops, there lived in Swaffham, Norfolk, a poor pedlar. He made his living very hard, he was often at work from morning until night. One night, he had a dream about the great bridge in London and a voice told him to go there to hear some great news. He did not take too much notice of the dream, but then the dream came again, and again. Then he said to himself:
"I must go there and try my luck." And so he went to London. The journey was long and he was very happy to get there. He saw tall houses on the sides of a wide river, he saw a lot of boats in the river and a lot of people on the bridge moving from one shop to another buying things. He listened carefully to hear the great news, but he heard nothing that could be important. He did the same the next day, but he did not hear anything important.
The third day, a shopkeeper saw him and spoke to him:
"Friend, I wonder why you are standing here so long. Do you have anything to sell?"
"No, I don't," said the pedlar.
"But you are not begging for alms."
"No, I'm not."
"Then, tell me, what are you doing here?"
"Well, I had a dream to come here and hear some great news."
The shopkeeper laughed heartily.
"You must be a be a fool to come here from far away for such a silly thing. I also had a dream for three days. I was a pedlar living in Norfolk and I was in the garden behind a pedlar's house and there was a big tree in the garden. A voice told me there was a great treasure hidden in the ground under the tree. But do you think I am such a fool to go such a long way to Norfolk and dig for the treasure? No, my friend. Learn from me because I am cleverer than you are. Go home and live your life."
When the pedlar heard this, he said nothing, but was very happy. He returned home quickly, dug under the tree and found a great treasure. He became very rich, repaired the church in Swaffham and when he died, they built a statue of him. And there it stands to this day.
Adapted from "MORE ENGLISH FAIRY TALES Collected and Edited by JOSEPH JACOBS"
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