Ethnic Enterprises

Carrots to Coins

and Other Ukrainian Folk Tales Retold in English

This is the seventh book in a series which will contain all the Ukrainian folk tales available. There are thousands of such tales still to be collected and retold; this volume represents a tiny portion of that number.

Carrots to Coins contains some old favorites and some tales that are less well-known. All are retold in a lively and entertaining manner that is sure to please both young and old. The delightful illustrations add another dimension to the enjoyment of the tales.

Once, Jesus and His disciples happened to arrive at a town where a wedding was in progress. The disciples wanted to join in the celebrations, but the custom was that guests would donate money to pay the musicians as they were welcomed at the door. The disciples therefore would require money to pay the musicians as they were greeted.

They asked Jesus what to do for money. He told them to cut some carrots into coin-size slices, which they did. Jesus blessed the slices and transformed them into money and gave some to each of them.

While everyone was feasting and enjoying the entertainment, Peter, one of the disciples, became greedy. He thought he would like some coins for himself. He sneaked away to the garden, sliced some carrots, blessed them in exactly the same way as Jesus had done and, lo and behold, they changed into coins.

He returned to the celebration just as everyone was donating money to the musicians by dropping their coins into a large drum. When Peter dropped his donation into the drum, instead of the jingling of coins, there was a booming sound. The musicians noticed this immediately but did nothing except watch him until nightfall, when they decided to beat him to teach him a lesson about donating carrots instead of money.

Jesus and Peter slept in a small shed with no door. Jesus was near the wall and Peter lay next to Him. Just as they fell asleep, the musicians sneaked in and beat Peter with sticks and ran out. Peter asked if he could change places with Jesus, because he thought that the musicians might return to give him another beating. Jesus agreed.

In the meantime, the musicians decided that they might as well give a beating to the other man sleeping next to the wall, just in case they had made a mistake and beat the wrong man the first time.

They went in and gave a good beating to the man by the wall. So Peter got it again. This was a lesson to Peter not to try to do what only Jesus Himself could do, and not to try to outsmart Jesus.