|The Book of Legends|
|by Horace Elisha Scudder|
|Legends to supplement Fifty Famous Stories Retold. Includes the stories of St. George and the Dragon, William Tell, King Cophetua, St. Christopher, The Wandering Jew, and the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, retold in fine English prose. Ages 7-10 |
ABRAHAM AND THE OLD MAN
 THE patriarch Abraham sat at the
door of his tent. It was evening, when he was wont to watch
for any strangers who might pass by, for all such he bade
enter his tent. He espied an old man coming toward him,
leaning on his staff, weary with travel and bent with age,
for he was a hundred years old.
Abraham rose and asked the old man to come into the tent. He
washed his feet, gave him the best seat, and set meat before
him. The old man ate his supper in silence, but he offered
no prayer before he ate.
"Why dost thou not first worship the God of heaven?"
"I worship fire only; I know no other God," said the old
At that Abraham was very angry and drove his guest out into
the dark night. Then God called Abraham and said to him:—
"Where is that stranger who was in thy tent?"
"I thrust him out," said the patriarch, "because he did
not worship Thee."
 Then God answered Abraham out of heaven:—
"I have suffered him these hundred years, although he
did not honor me, and
couldst thou not endure him one night when he gave thee no
Then was Abraham very sorry, and went and brought the old
man back, and gave him rest and sent him on his way in the
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