A lowly chicken farmer agreed reluctantly agreed to engage in a debate with the king of the land.
Arriving with one of his chickens in the basket on his back, the Jewish man knew that this was only an attempt to justify the king’s desire to expel all the Jews from his realm.
Approaching the throne the poor man saw the king rise and show one finger.
Stopping where we was, the chicken farmer responded by holding out two fingers.
The king seemed surprised, but continued by holding out a lump of cheese. The Jew replied by showing the king an egg.
Next, the king reached into his pocket and scattered a handful of grain.
The chicken farmer then released a hen from the basket on his back and watched her eat every seed.
“You have answered well,” the king said, breaking his silence. “In all justice I must allow your people to remain.”
Confused but relieved the poor man left, richly rewarded, and the courtiers clambered for the king to explain the exchange.
“First I held up one finger, claiming there is but one king. The Jew recognized the near-blasphemy it was and rightly countered with his two fingers that there are two kings, one in Heaven.
“Second I held out a lump of cheese that he should divine if it came from a black or brown goat. He held up an egg to counter with the question of whether it came from a white or golden hen.
“Finally, I threw out the grain to remind him how scattered and abandoned are the Jews, and he set loose his hen to remind me that the Messiah will return to gather all his people.”
Back in the Jewish quarter The chicken farmer gave his version of the events.
“First he stuck out one finger, as if to warn me he’d put out one of my eyes, so I held up two fingers, to say I’d take both of his eyes if he tried.
“Then he showed me a lump of cheese to remind me I was poor and needed his help, so I took an egg out of my pocket to show him I don’t need his charity.
“In the end he threw a bunch of grain on the floor, and I thought, Best to not let it go to waste...”