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Take to the fields, and someday you'll learn that our countryside is the best, and our women the most beautiful. The boy could see in his father's gaze a desire to be able, himself, to travel the world — a desire that was still alive, despite his father's having had to bury it, over dozens of years, under the burden of struggling for water to drink, food to eat, and the same place to sleep every night of his life.
The horizon was tinged with red, and suddenly the sun appeared. The boy thought back to that conversation with his father, and felt happy; he had already seen many castles and met many women but none the equal of the one who awaited him several days hence.
He owned a jacket, a book that he could trade for another, and a flock of sheep. But, most important, he was able every day to live out his dream.
If he were to tire of the Andalusian fields, he could sell his sheep and go to sea. By the time he had had enough of the sea, he would already have known other cities, other women, and other chances to be happy.
I couldn't have found God in the seminary, he thought, as he looked at the sunrise. Whenever he could, he sought out a new road to travel.
He had never been to that ruined church before, in spite of having traveled through those parts many times. The world was huge and inexhaustible; he had only to allow his sheep to set the route for a while, and he would discover other interesting things.
The problem is that they don't even realize that they're walking a new road every day. They don't see that the fields are new and the seasons change.
All they think about is food and water. Maybe we're all that way, the boy mused. Even me — I haven't thought of other women since I met the merchant's daughter.
Looking at the sun, he calculated that he would reach Tarifa before midday. There, he could exchange his book for a thicker one, fill his wine bottle, shave, and have a haircut; he had to prepare himself for his meeting with the girl, and he didn't want to think about the possibility that some other shepherd, with a larger flock of sheep, had arrived there before him and asked for her hand.
It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting, he thought, as he looked again at the position of the sun, and hurried his pace.
He had suddenly remembered that, in Tarifa, there was an old woman who interpreted dreams. The old woman led the boy to a room at the back of her house; it was separated from her living room by a curtain of colored beads.
The room's furnishings consisted of a table, an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and two chairs.
The woman sat down, and told him to be seated as well. Then she took both of his hands in hers, and began quietly to pray.
It sounded like a Gypsy prayer. The boy had already had experience on the road with Gypsies; they also traveled, but they had no flocks of sheep.
People said that Gypsies spent their lives tricking others. It was also said that they had a pact with the devil, and that they kidnapped children and, taking them away to their mysterious camps, made them their slaves.
As a child, the boy had always been frightened to death that he would be captured by Gypsies, and this childhood fear returned when the old woman took his hands in hers.
But she has the Sacred Heart of Jesus there, he thought, trying to reassure himself. He didn't want his hand to begin trembling, showing the old woman that he was fearful.
He recited an Our Father silently. The boy was becoming nervous. His hands began to tremble, and the woman sensed it. He quickly pulled his hands away.
He thought for a moment that it would be better to pay her fee and leave without learning a thing, that he was giving too much importance to his recurrent dream.
When he speaks in our language, I can interpret what he has said. But if he speaks in the language of the soul, it is only you who can understand.
But, whichever it is, I'm going to charge you for the consultation. But he decided to take a chance. A shepherd always takes his chances with wolves and with drought, and that's what makes a shepherd's life exciting.
I don't like people to do that, because the sheep are afraid of strangers. But children always seem to be able to play with them without frightening them.
I don't know why. I don't know how animals know the age of human beings. But she said nothing. Then she again took his hands and studied them carefully.
He was going to be able to save the little money he had because of a dream about hidden treasure! Swear that you will give me one-tenth of your treasure in exchange for what I am going to tell you.
The old woman asked him to swear again while looking at the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. That's why I feel that I deserve a part of what you find.
I have never heard of them, but, if it was a child who showed them to you, they exist. There you will find a treasure that will make you a rich man.
He didn't need to seek out the old woman for this! But then he remembered that he wasn't going to have to pay anything.
It's the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary; only wise men are able to understand them.
And since I am not wise, I have had to learn other arts, such as the reading of palms. I don't know how to turn them into reality.
That's why I have to live off what my daughters provide me with. It wouldn't be the first time. So the boy was disappointed; he decided that he would never again believe in dreams.
He remembered that he had a number of things he had to take care of: The day was hot, and the wine was refreshing.
The sheep were at the gates of the city, in a stable that belonged to a friend. The boy knew a lot of people in the city. That was what made traveling appeal to him — he always made new friends, and he didn't need to spend all of his time with them.
When someone sees the same people every day, as had happened with him at the seminary, they wind up becoming a part of that person's life.
And then they want the person to change. If someone isn't what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.
He decided to wait until the sun had sunk a bit lower in the sky before following his flock back through the fields. Three days from now, he would be with the merchant's daughter.
He started to read the book he had bought. On the very first page it described a burial ceremony. And the names of the people involved were very difficult to pronounce.
If he ever wrote a book, he thought, he would present one person at a time, so that the reader wouldn't have to worry about memorizing a lot of names.
When he was finally able to concentrate on what he was reading, he liked the book better; the burial was on a snowy day, and he welcomed the feeling of being cold.
As he read on, an old man sat down at his side and tried to strike up a conversation. Actually, he was thinking about shearing his sheep in front of the merchant's daughter, so that she could see that he was someone who was capable of doing difficult things.
He had already imagined the scene many times; every time, the girl became fascinated when he explained that the sheep had to be sheared from back to front.
He also tried to remember some good stories to relate as he sheared the sheep. Most of them he had read in books, but he would tell them as if they were from his personal experience.
She would never know the difference, because she didn't know how to read. Meanwhile, the old man persisted in his attempt to strike up a conversation.
He said that he was tired and thirsty, and asked if he might have a sip of the boy's wine. The boy offered his bottle, hoping that the old man would leave him alone.
But the old man wanted to talk, and he asked the boy what book he was reading. The boy was tempted to be rude, and move to another bench, but his father had taught him to be respectful of the elderly.
So he held out the book to the man — for two reasons: The old man knew how to read, and had already read the book.
And if the book was irritating, as the old man had said, the boy still had time to change it for another.
And it ends up saying that everyone believes the world's greatest he. That's the world's greatest lie. The old man, meanwhile, was leafing through the book, without seeming to want to return it at all.
The boy noticed that the man's clothing was strange. He looked like an Arab, which was not unusual in those parts.
Africa was only a few hours from Tarifa; one had only to cross the narrow straits by boat. Arabs often appeared in the city, shopping and chanting their strange prayers several times a day.
That's where I was bom. He looked at the people in the plaza for a while; they were coming and going, and all of them seemed to be very busy.
But he knew that Salem wasn't in Andalusia. If it were, he would already have heard of it. Sometimes it's better to be with the sheep, who don't say anything.
And better still to be alone with one's books. They tell their incredible stories at the time when you want to hear them. But when you're talking to people, they say some things that are so strange that you don't know how to continue the conversation.
He could see that the old man wanted to know more about his life. I can't help you if you feel you've got enough sheep. He wasn't asking for help.
It was the old man who had asked for a drink of his wine, and had started the conversation. The old woman hadn't charged him anything, but the old man — maybe he was her husband — was going to find a way to get much more money in exchange for information about something that didn't even exist.
The old man was probably a Gypsy, too. But before the boy could say anything, the old man leaned over, picked up a stick, and began to write in the sand of the plaza.
Something bright reflected from his chest with such intensity that the boy was momentarily blinded. With a movement that was too quick for someone his age, the man covered whatever it was with his cape.
When his vision returned to normal, the boy was able to read what the old man had written in the sand.
There, in the sand of the plaza of that small city, the boy read the names of his father and his mother and the name of the seminary he had attended.
He read the name of the merchant's daughter, which he hadn't even known, and he read things he had never told anyone. But let's say that the most important is that you have succeeded in discovering your destiny.
Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives.
But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their destiny.
But he wanted to know what the "mysterious force" was; the merchant's daughter would be impressed when he told her about that!
It prepares your spirit and your will, because there is one great truth on this planet: It's your mission on earth.
Or marry the daughter of a textile merchant? The Soul of the World is nourished by people's happiness. And also by unhappiness, envy, and jealousy.
To realize one's destiny is a person's only real obligation. All things are one. It was the old man who spoke first. But he decided first to buy his bakery and put some money aside.
When he's an old man, he's going to spend a month in Africa. He never realized that people are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.
Bakers have homes, while shepherds sleep out in the open. Parents would rather see their children marry bakers than shepherds. There was surely a baker in her town.
The old man continued, "In the long run, what people think about shepherds and bakers becomes more important for them than their own destinies. The boy waited, and then interrupted the old man just as he himself had been interrupted.
And you are at the point where you're about to give it all up. Sometimes I appear in the form of a solution, or a good idea.
At other times, at a crucial moment, I make it easier for things to happen. There are other things I do, too, but most of the time people don't realize I've done them.
The miner had abandoned everything to go mining for emeralds. For five years he had been working a certain river, and had examined hundreds of thousands of stones looking for an emerald.
The miner was about to give it all up, right at the point when, if he were to examine just one more stone — justone more — he would find his emerald.
Since the miner had sacrificed everything to his destiny, the old man decided to become involved. He transformed himself into a stone that rolled up to the miner's foot.
The miner, with all the anger and frustration of his five fruitless years, picked up the stone and threw it aside.
But he had thrown it with such force that it broke the stone it fell upon, and there, embedded in the broken stone, was the most beautiful emerald in the world.
But that's the way it is. This is what the Warriors of the Light try to teach. And I will tell you how to find the hidden treasure. The boy began again to read his book, but he was no longer able to concentrate.
He was tense and upset, because he knew that the old man was right. He went over to the bakery and bought a loaf of bread, thinking about whether or not he should tell the baker what the old man had said about him.
Sometimes it's better to leave things as they are, he thought to himself, and decided to say nothing. If he were to say anything, the baker would spend three days thinking about giving it all up, even though he had gotten used to the way things were.
The boy could certainly resist causing that kind of anxiety for the baker. So he began to wander through the city, and found himself at the gates.
There was a small building there, with a window at which people bought tickets to Africa. And he knew that Egypt was in Africa. If he sold just one of his sheep, he'd have enough to get to the other shore of the strait.
The idea frightened him. In two years he had learned everything about shepherding: He knew all the fields and pastures of Andalusia.
And he knew what was the fair price for every one of his animals. He decided to return to his friend's stable by the longest route possible.
As he walked past the city's castle, he interrupted his return, and climbed the stone ramp that led to the top of the wall. From there, he could see Africa in the distance.
Someone had once told him that it was from there that the Moors had come, to occupy all of Spain. He could see almost the entire city from where he sat, including the plaza where he had talked with the old man.
Curse the moment I met that old man, he thought. He had come to the town only to find a woman who could interpret his dream. Neither the woman nor the old man were at all impressed by the fact that he was a shepherd.
They were solitary individuals who no longer believed in things, and didn't understand that shepherds become attached to their sheep.
He knew everything about each member of his flock: He knew how to shear them, and how to slaughter them.
If he ever decided to leave them, they would suffer. The wind began to pick up. He knew that wind: The levanter increased in intensity.
Here I am, between my flock and my treasure, the boy thought. He had to choose between something he had become accustomed to and something he wanted to have.
There was also the merchant's daughter, but she wasn't as important as his flock, because she didn't depend on him. Maybe she didn't even remember him.
He was sure that it made no difference to her on which day he appeared: I left my father, my mother, and the town castle behind.
They have gotten used to my being away, and so have I. The sheep will get used to my not being there, too, the boy thought.
From where he sat, he could observe the plaza. People continued to come and go from the baker's shop. A young couple sat on the bench where he had talked with the old man, and they kissed.
The levanter was still getting stronger, and he felt its force on his face. That wind had brought the Moors, yes, but it had also brought the smell of the desert and of veiled women.
It had brought with it the sweat and the dreams of men who had once left to search for the unknown, and for gold and adventure — and for the Pyramids.
The boy felt jealous of the freedom of the wind, and saw that he could have the same freedom. There was nothing to hold him back except himself.
The sheep, the merchant's daughter, and the fields of Andalusia were only steps along the way to his destiny. The next day, the boy met the old man at noon.
He brought six sheep with him. He said that he had always dreamed of being a shepherd, and that it was a good omen. When you play cards the first time, you are almost sure to win.
The boy explained that it wasn't important, since that sheep was the most intelligent of the flock, and produced the most wool.
The old woman had said the same thing. But she hadn't charged him anything. God has prepared a path for everyone to follow. You just have to read the omens that he left for you.
He remembered something his grandfather had once told him: Like crickets, and like expectations; like lizards and four-leaf clovers.
These are good omens. The old man wore a breastplate of heavy gold, covered with precious stones. The boy recalled the brilliance he had noticed on the previous day.
He really was a king! He must be disguised to avoid encounters with thieves. The black signifies 'yes,' and the white 'no. Always ask an objective question.
The treasure is at the Pyramids; that you already knew. But I had to insist on the payment of six sheep because I helped you to make your decision.
From then on, he would make his own decisions. And don't forget the language of omens. And, above all, don't forget to follow your destiny through to its conclusion.
The lad wandered through the desert for forty days, and finally came upon a beautiful castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived.
The wise man conversed with everyone, and the boy had to wait for two hours before it was his turn to be given the man's attention.
He suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in two hours. As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill.
After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was. Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create?
Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library? His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.
He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected.
Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he had seen. He had understood the story the old king had told him.
A shepherd may like to travel, but he should never forget about his sheep. The old man looked at the boy and, with his hands held together, made several strange gestures over the boy's head.
Then, taking his sheep, he walked away. At the highest point in Tarifa there is an old fort, built by the Moors.
From atop its walls, one can catch a glimpse of Africa. Melchizedek, the king of Salem, sat on the wall of the fort that afternoon, and felt the levanter blowing in his face.
The sheep fidgeted nearby, uneasy with their new owner and excited by so much change. All they wanted was food and water.
Melchizedek watched a small ship that was plowing its way out of the port. He would never again see the boy, just as he had never seen Abraham again after having charged him his one-tenth fee.
That was his work. The gods should not have desires, because they don't have destinies. But the king of Salem hoped desperately that the boy would be successful.
It's too bad that he's quickly going to forget my name, he thought. I should have repeated it for him. Then when he spoke about me he would say that I am Melchizedek, the king of Salem.
He looked to the skies, feeling a bit abashed, and said, "I know it's the vanity of vanities, as you said, my Lord. But an old king sometimes has to take some pride in himself.
He was sitting in a bar very much like the other bars he had seen along the narrow streets of Tangier. Some men were smoking from a gigantic pipe that they passed from one to the other.
In just a few hours he had seen men walking hand in hand, women with their faces covered, and priests that climbed to the tops of towers and chanted — as everyone about him went to their knees and placed their foreheads on the ground.
As a child in church, he had always looked at the image of Saint Santiago Matamoros on his white horse, his sword unsheathed, and figures such as these kneeling at his feet.
The boy felt ill and terribly alone. The infidels had an evil look about them. Besides this, in the rush of his travels he had forgotten a detail, just one detail, which could keep him from his treasure for a long time: The owner of the bar approached him, and the boy pointed to a drink that had been served at the next table.
It turned out to be a bitter tea. The boy preferred wine. But he didn't need to worry about that right now. What he had to be concerned about was his treasure, and how he was going to go about getting it.
The sale of his sheep had left him with enough money in his pouch, and the boy knew that in money there was magic; whoever has money is never really alone.
Before long, maybe in just a few days, he would be at the Pyramids. An old man, with a breastplate of gold, wouldn't have lied just to acquire six sheep.
The old man had spoken about signs and omens, and, as the boy was crossing the strait, he had thought about omens. Yes, the old man had known what he was talking about: He had discovered that the presence of a certain bird meant that a snake was nearby, and that a certain shrub was a sign that there was water in the area.
The sheep had taught him that. If God leads the sheep so well, he will also lead a man, he thought, and that made him feel better.
The tea seemed less bitter. The boy was relieved. He was thinking about omens, and someone had appeared. The new arrival was a young man in Western dress, but the color of his skin suggested he was from this city.
He was about the same age and height as the boy. We're only two hours from Spain. I hate this tea. He almost began to tell about his treasure, but decided not to do so.
If he did, it was possible that the Arab would want a part of it as payment for taking him there.
He remembered what the old man had said about offering something you didn't even have yet. I can pay you to serve as my guide.
The boy noticed that the owner of the bar stood nearby, listening attentively to their conversation. He felt uneasy at the man's presence.
But he had found a guide, and didn't want to miss out on an opportunity. I need to know whether you have enough.
But he trusted in the old man, who had said that, when you really want something, the universe always conspires in your favor. He took his money from his pouch and showed it to the young man.
The owner of the bar came over and looked, as well. The two men exchanged some words in Arabic, and the bar owner seemed irritated.
He got up to pay the bill, but the owner grabbed him and began to speak to him in an angry stream of words. The boy was strong, and wanted to retaliate, but he was in a foreign country.
His new friend pushed the owner aside, and pulled the boy outside with him. This is a port, and every port has its thieves.
He had helped him out in a dangerous situation. He took out his money and counted it. Everywhere there were stalls with items for sale. They reached the center of a large plaza where the market was held.
There were thousands of people there, arguing, selling, and buying; vegetables for sale amongst daggers, and carpets displayed alongside tobacco.
But the boy never took his eye off his new friend. After all, he had all his money. He thought about asking him to give it back, but decided that would be unfriendly.
He knew nothing about the customs of the strange land he was in. He knew he was stronger than his friend. Suddenly, there in the midst of all that confusion, he saw the most beautiful sword he had ever seen.
The scabbard was embossed in silver, and the handle was black and encrusted with precious stones. The boy promised himself that, when he returned from Egypt, he would buy that sword.
Then he realized that he had been distracted for a few moments, looking at the sword. His heart squeezed, as if his chest had suddenly compressed it.
He was afraid to look around, because he knew what he would find. He continued to look at the beautiful sword for a bit longer, until he summoned the courage to turn around.
All around him was the market, with people coming and going, shouting and buying, and the aroma of strange foods. The boy wanted to believe that his friend had simply become separated from him by accident.
He decided to stay right there and await his return. As he waited, a priest climbed to the top of a nearby tower and began his chant; everyone in the market fell to their knees, touched their foreheads to the ground, and took up the chant.
Then, like a colony of worker ants, they dismantled their stalls and left. The sun began its departure, as well. The boy watched it through its trajectory for some time, until it was hidden behind the white houses surrounding the plaza.
He recalled that when the sun had risen that morning, he was on another continent, still a shepherd with sixty sheep, and looking forward to meeting with a girl.
That morning he had known everything that was going to happen to him as he walked through the familiar fields. But now, as the sun began to set, he was in a different country, a stranger in a strange land, where he couldn't even speak the language.
He was no longer a shepherd, and he had nothing, not even the money to return and start everything over. All this happened between sunrise and sunset, the boy thought.
He was feeling sorry for himself, and lamenting the fact that his life could have changed so suddenly and so drastically.
He was so ashamed that he wanted to cry. He had never even wept in front of his own sheep. But the marketplace was empty, and he was far from home, so he wept.
He wept because God was unfair, and because this was the way God repaid those who believed in their dreams. When I had my sheep, I was happy, and I made those around me happy.
People saw me coming and welcomed me, he thought. But now I'm sad and alone. I'm going to become bitter and distrustful of people because one person betrayed me.
I'm going to hate those who have found their treasure because I never found mine. And I'm going to hold on to what little I have, because I'm too insignificant to conquer the world.
He opened his pouch to see what was left of his possessions; maybe there was a bit left of the sandwich he had eaten on the ship. But all he found was the heavy book, his jacket, and the two stones the old man had given him.
As he looked at the stones, he felt relieved for some reason. He had exchanged six sheep for two precious stones that had been taken from a gold breastplate.
He could sell the stones and buy a return ticket. But this time I'll be smarter, the boy thought, removing them from the pouch so he could put them in his pocket.
This was a port town, and the only truthful thing his friend had told him was that port towns are full of thieves. Now he understood why the owner of the bar had been so upset: They were his treasure.
Just handling them made him feel better. They reminded him of the old man. The boy was trying to understand the truth of what the old man had said. There he was in the empty marketplace, without a cent to his name, and with not a sheep to guard through the night.
But the stones were proof that he had met with a king — a king who knew of the boy's past. The old man had said to ask very clear questions, and to do that, the boy had to know what he wanted.
So, he asked if the old man's blessing was still with him. He took out one of the stones. He stuck his hand into the pouch, and felt around for one of the stones.
As he did so, both of them pushed through a hole in the pouch and fell to the ground. The boy had never even noticed that there was a hole in his pouch.
He knelt down to find Urim and Thummim and put them back in the pouch. But as he saw them lying there on the ground, another phrase came to his mind.
The boy smiled to himself. He picked up the two stones and put them back in his pouch. He didn't consider mending the hole — the stones could fall through any time they wanted.
He had learned that there were certain things one shouldn't ask about, so as not to flee from one's own destiny. But the stones had told him that the old man was still with him, and that made him feel more confident.
He looked around at the empty plaza again, feeling less desperate than before. This wasn't a strange place; it was a new one.
After all, what he had always wanted was just that: Even if he never got to the Pyramids, he had already traveled farther than any shepherd he knew.
Oh, if they only knew how different things are just two hours by ship from where they are, he thought. Although his new world at the moment was just an empty marketplace, he had already seen it when it was teeming with life, and he would never forget it.
He remembered the sword. It hurt him a bit to think about it, but he had never seen one like it before. As he mused about these things, he realized that he had to choose between thinking of himself as the poor victim of a thief and as an adventurer in quest of his treasure.
He was shaken into wakefulness by someone. He had fallen asleep in the middle of the marketplace, and life in the plaza was about to resume.
Looking around, he sought his sheep, and then realized that he was in a new world. But instead of being saddened, he was happy.
He no longer had to seek out food and water for the sheep; he could go in search of his treasure, instead. He had not a cent in his pocket, but he had faith.
He had decided, the night before, that he would be as much an adventurer as the ones he had admired in books. He walked slowly through the market.
The merchants were assembling their stalls, and the boy helped a candy seller to do his. The candy seller had a smile on his face: His smile reminded the boy of the old man — the mysterious old king he had met.
He's doing it because it's what he wants to do," thought the boy. He realized that he could do the same thing the old man had done — sense whether a person was near to or far from his destiny.
Just by looking at them. It's easy, and yet I've never done it before, he thought. When the stall was assembled, the candy seller offered the boy the first sweet he had made for the day.
The boy thanked him, ate it, and went on his way. When he had gone only a short distance, he realized that, while they were erecting the stall, one of them had spoken Arabic and the other Spanish.
And they had understood each other perfectly well. There must be a language that doesn't depend on words, the boy thought.
I've already had that experience with my sheep, and now it's happening with people. He was learning a lot of new things. Some of them were things that he had already experienced, and weren't really new, but that he had never perceived before.
And he hadn't perceived them because he had become accustomed to them. If I can learn to understand this language without words, I can learn to understand the world.
Relaxed and unhurried, he resolved that he would walk through the narrow streets of Tangier. Only in that way would he be able to read the omens. He knew it would require a lot of patience, but shepherds know all about patience.
Once again he saw that, in that strange land, he was applying the same lessons he had learned with his sheep. The crystal merchant awoke with the day, and felt the same anxiety that he felt every morning.
He had been in the same place for thirty years: Now it was too late to change anything — the only thing he had ever learned to do was to buy and sell crystal glassware.
There had been a time when many people knew of his shop: Arab merchants, French and English geologists, German soldiers who were always well-heeled.
In those days it had been wonderful to be selling crystal, and he had thought how he would become rich, and have beautiful women at his side as he grew older.
But, as time passed, Tangier had changed. The nearby city of Ceuta had grown faster than Tangier, and business had fallen off.
Neighbors moved away, and there remained only a few small shops on the hill. And no one was going to climb the hill just to browse through a few small shops.
But the crystal merchant had no choice. He had lived thirty years of his life buying and selling crystal pieces, and now it was too late to do anything else.
He spent the entire morning observing the infrequent comings and goings in the street. He had done this for years, and knew the schedule of everyone who passed.
But, just before lunchtime, a boy stopped in front of the shop. He was dressed normally, but the practiced eyes of the crystal merchant could see that the boy had no money to spend.
Nevertheless, the merchant decided to delay his lunch for a few minutes until the boy moved on. A card hanging in the doorway announced that several languages were spoken in the shop.
The boy saw a man appear behind the counter. In his pouch, he had his jacket — he certainly wasn't going to need it in the desert. Taking the jacket out, he began to clean the glasses.
In half an hour, he had cleaned all the glasses in the window, and, as he was doing so, two customers had entered the shop and bought some crystal.
When he had completed the cleaning, he asked the man for something to eat. He put a sign on the door, and they went to a small cafe nearby.
As they sat down at the only table in the place, the crystal merchant laughed. And both you and I needed to cleanse our minds of negative thoughts.
Two customers came in today while you were working, and that's a good omen. But they really don't know what they're saying. Just as I hadn't realized that for so many years I had been speaking a language without words to my sheep.
In return, I need money to get to Egypt tomorrow. There are thousands of kilometers of desert between here and there.
No sound from the bazaars, no arguments among the merchants, no men climbing to the towers to chant.
No hope, no adventure, no old kings or destinies, no treasure, and no Pyramids. It was as if the world had fallen silent because the boy's soul had.
He sat there, staring blankly through the door of the cafe, wishing that he had died, and that everything would end forever at that moment.
The merchant looked anxiously at the boy. All the joy he had seen that morning had suddenly disappeared. The boy said nothing.
He got up, adjusted his clothing, and picked up his pouch. And after another long silence, he added, "I need money to buy some sheep.
The merchant spent the entire day mumbling behind the counter, telling the boy to be careful with the pieces and not to break anything.
But he stayed with the job because the merchant, although he was an old grouch, treated him fairly; the boy received a good commission for each piece he sold, and had already been able to put some money aside.
That morning he had done some calculating: But that's the way life is with sheep and with shepherds.
He was selling better than ever. Why ask more out of life? Because life wants you to achieve your destiny," the old king had said.
But the merchant understood what the boy had said. The boy's very presence in the shop was an omen, and, as time passed and money was pouring into the cash drawer, he had no regrets about having hired the boy.
The boy was being paid more money than he deserved, because the merchant, thinking that sales wouldn't amount to much, had offered the boy a high commission rate.
He had assumed he would soon return to his sheep. The treasure was now nothing but a painful memory, and he tried to avoid thinking about it.
You could build one in your backyard. Two days later, the merchant spoke to the boy about the display. If he makes a buying mistake, it doesn't affect him much.
But we two have to live with our mistakes. We have to take advantage when luck is on our side, and do as much to help it as it's doing to help us.
It's called the principle of favorability. Then he said, "The Prophet gave us the Koran, and left us just five obligations to satisfy during our lives.
The most important is to believe only in the one true God. The others are to pray five times a day, fast during Ramadan, and be charitable to the poor.
His eyes filled with tears as he spoke of the Prophet. He was a devout man, and, even with all his impatience, he wanted to live his life in accordance with Muslim law.
We are obliged, at least once in our lives, to visit the holy city of Mecca. When I was young, all I wanted to do was put together enough money to start this shop.
I thought that someday I'd be rich, and could go to Mecca. I began to make some money, but I could never bring myself to leave someone in charge of the shop; the crystals are delicate things.
At the same time, people were passing my shop all the time, heading for Mecca. Some of them were rich pilgrims, traveling in caravans with servants and camels, but most of the people making the pilgrimage were poorer than I.
They placed the symbols of the pilgrimage on the doors of their houses. One of them, a cobbler who made his living mending boots, said that he had traveled for almost a year through the desert, but that he got more tired when he had to walk through the streets of Tangier buying his leather.
That's what helps me face these days that are all the same, these mute crystals on the shelves, and lunch and dinner at that same horrible cafe.
I'm afraid that if my dream is realized, I'll have no reason to go on living. I just want to dream about Mecca. I've already imagined a thousand times crossing the desert, arriving at the Plaza of the Sacred Stone, the seven times I walk around it before allowing myself to touch it.
I've already imagined the people who would be at my side, and those in front of me, and the conversations and prayers we would share.
But I'm afraid that it would all be a disappointment, so I prefer just to dream about it. Not everyone can see his dreams come true in the same way.
Two more months passed, and the shelf brought many customers into the crystal shop. The boy estimated that, if he worked for six more months, he could return to Spain and buy sixty sheep, and yet another sixty.
In less than a year, he would have doubled his flock, and he would be able to do business with the Arabs, because he was now able to speak their strange language.
Since that morning in the marketplace, he had never again made use of Urim and Thummim, because Egypt was now just as distant a dream for him as was Mecca for the merchant.
Anyway, the boy had become happy in his work, and thought all the time about the day when he would disembark at Tarifa as a winner.
The boy knew, and was now working toward it. Maybe it was his treasure to have wound up in that strange land, met up with a thief, and doubled the size of his flock without spending a cent.
He was proud of himself. He had learned some important things, like how to deal in crystal, and about the language without words.
One afternoon he had seen a man at the top of the hill, complaining that it was impossible to find a decent place to get something to drink after such a climb.
The boy, accustomed to recognizing omens, spoke to the merchant. The people will enjoy the tea and want to buy the glasses.
I have been told that beauty is the great seducer of men. I need to buy my sheep back, so I have to earn the money to do so.
I know good crystal from bad, and everything else there is to know about crystal. I know its dimensions and how it behaves.
If we serve tea in crystal, the shop is going to expand. And then I'll have to change my way of life. Before you came, I was thinking about how much time I had wasted in the same place, while my friends had moved on, and either went bankrupt or did better than they had before.
It made me very depressed. Now, I can see that it hasn't been too bad. He wants to travel to her city, marry her, and start a new life.
So he leaves Fatima and continues his adventure. He then meets an English man who guides him towards the Al-Chemist. He is a strange man who will finally show Santiago the path towards his destination.
He learns many things about his journey. Santiago finally moves towards the final step of moving towards the pyramids. There he finds a treasure box.
When he opens it, his heart stops of astonishment. What he was thinking and what did he find? So get the book and find out yourself.
The protagonist of the story Santiago is a young shepherd with no ambition in his life. All he knows is to wander around with this cattle and then return home.
He takes his food, sleeps, and then the next day embarks on grassy lands with her cattle. He has never thought of doing something else with his life.
Though he is a little bit enthusiastic sometimes but not so much. However, one day a dream changes his life. At first, like most of us would do, he thought of his dream as something he should care about.
But then a woman tells him that his dream is prophetic and he should follow it. After that, he embarks on a journey to find the hidden treasure somewhere in Egypt.
He learns a lot of his journey and what he does find at the end? This woman took the story to where it went. If not for her, that ignorant boy would never have known the meaning of his dream.
He could have forgotten about it maybe after thinking few days. The old woman, who is a fortune-teller, tells him that this is not an ordinary dream.
He should pursue it because the dream is prophetic. He means to have a treasure and the dream was no joke. It is the time that he embarks upon the journey that has been foretold in the dream.
After listening to the old woman, Santiago decides to set out on the journey of his life. This journey would change his life and give him a whole new meaning of it.
This man is one of the most important characters in the story. He helps Santiago to overcome the difficulties that he was going to face on the journey.
He shows him the way. He is an important figure from the Old Testament and would play the most important role in the progress of Santiago. Though he would never reveal his real identity but he is going to play his role.
At Tangier, when Santiago ran out of money, this man played his role. He is an ordinary man with a family and the biggest he want to achieve in his life is to perform the pilgrimage.
He is making money out of his trade and saving it up to make the journey. In his shop, Santiago earns some good money and at a point feels that this is it.
He has money and now he can return to his city and live his life peacefully. But how could he have done that? His ambition is quite different now.
Plus, the time spent with the merchant motivates him to continue the journey. The part of crystal merchant is important because that is the point where the journey could have ended.
But instead, Santiago chose the right thing to do. This man is the title of the novel. An unnecessarily learned man, he inhabits the desert garden and can transform any metal into gold.
The chemist helps Santiago make the voyage from the desert spring to the Egyptian pyramids. An excellent Arab young lady who lives in the desert garden.
She underpins his journey, despite the fact that it will remove him from her. Fatima speaks to intimate romance, benevolent and unrestricted.
There are no words competent enough to describe the beauty of this book. There are a lot of things about life that you learn in this book.
One of the most important things is to find your ambition. For all of us, there is a treasure hidden somewhere.
All we have got to do is to use our instincts and find it. We need to step up and continue searching for fighting for the truth. It may take a while but it has to come out and people will see his potential someday.
The things that the boy learns on his journey is the treasure that was meant to him. He never sought an ambition. A dream makes him realize that he should stay here forever because there is a treasure out there for him.
He needs to set out on a journey that will open up secrets he could never learn with cattle. Of course, there are omens that would show him the way.
They could come in any form and he needs to recognize them. The greatest line from the book is meant for all of us. So what do we need to do?
We should never set back and let things happen to us. Never stop the search to find your ambition in life and always try to achieve it. This book must not be very expensive.
Also, it is so famous that is must be available in every bookshop. Still, if you are unavailable to get the book then you can download the free The Alchemist Pdf from the link below.
If you want to book at very cheap price online then you can follow this link to buy it. So what are you waiting for? Grab the best book that you will ever have in your life.
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