The Turkey Prince

Once the king’s son went mad and began to think he was a turkey. He’s sit under the table with no clothes on and pulled at pieces of bread and bones. None of the doctors were able to help him and the king became very sad.

A wise man came and said, “I can cure him!” So he took off all his clothes and sat down under the table next to the king’s son and began picking at the bread and bones.

The prince asked him, “Who are you and what are you doing here?”

The wise man asked the prince what he was doing under the table. “I’m a turkey,” said the prince.

“I’m also a turkey!” the wise man responded.

The two of them sat under the table together for a while when the wise man gave a signal and two shirts were thrown under the table. The wise man said to the king’s son, “Do you think that a turkey can’t wear a shirt? Well, you can wear a shirt and still be a turkey!” So, the two of them put on shirts.

After a while he gave another signal and two pairs of pants were thrown under the table. The wise man asked, “Do you think that if you put on pants you can’t be a turkey? Well, watch me!” So the wise man put on the pants and soon, the prince did as well.

A little later, the wise man gave a signal and human food was placed under the table. He began to eat and said to the prince, “Do you think that if you eat good food you can no longer be a turkey? Look at me! I’m a turkey, but I’m eating this food!” Soon, the prince joined him and also began eating the good food.

Then he said to the prince, “Do you think a turkey has to sit under the table? Of course not! You can be a turkey and sit up at the table!”

The wise man then got up and sat at the table and the prince joined him. This is how the wise man dealt with the prince until he finally cured him.

(Rebbe Nachman of Breslov)

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