Carl, the rich landowner, often rode around his vast estate, congratulating himself on his great wealth. One day, while riding around his estate on his favorite horse, he saw Hans, an old tenant farmer. Hans was sitting under a tree when Carl rode by.
Hans said, “I was just thanking God for my food.”
“If that is all I had to eat, I wouldn’t feel like giving thanks,” Carl protested angrily.
Calmly, Hans replied, “God has given me everything I need, and I am thankful for it.” Then he added, “It is strange you should come by today; because I had a dream last night. In my dream a voice told me, ‘The richest man in the valley will die tonight.’ I don’t know what it means, but I thought I ought to tell you.”
Carl snorted, “Dreams are nonsense,” and galloped away. But he could not forget Hans’ words: “The richest man in the valley will die tonight.”
Carl was obviously the richest man in the valley, so he invited his doctor to his house that evening. Carl told the doctor what Hans had said. After a thorough examination, the doctor told the wealthy landowner, “Carl, you are as strong and healthy as a horse. There is no way you are going to die tonight.”
Nevertheless, for assurance, the doctor stayed with Carl, and they played cards through the night. The doctor left the next morning and Carl apologized for becoming so upset over the old man’s dream. At about nine o’clock, a messenger arrived at Carl’s door.
“What is it?” Carl demanded. The messenger explained,
“It’s about old Hans. He died last night in his sleep.”