“I Give You Three Wishes”
A man who was very poor thought that he might be able to please God in the form of the image in a famous temple. If he succeeded, he would ask for a boon — a special favor. He used to take to the temple whateverhe could scrape together — ripe fruits, candies, blossoms, coins — and lay them before the image.
One day the Lord, pleased with this humble worship, spoke aloud to the man: “All right, I give you as a boon three wishes and a pair of dice.” Rushing home even without thanks, the man told his wife the wonderful news. She told him to throw the dice and wish for wealth first. But he thought a moment and then said, “Look, we both have ugly little noses and people make fun of us. Why not ask for beautiful noses first?”
His wife was for wealth first, and caught hold of his hand to keep him from throwing the dice. Pulling his hand away he quickly threw the dice, exclaiming, “We want nothing but noses, beautiful noses.”
At once their bodies were covered with beautiful noses. Noses all over. What a nuisance! So they both agreed they would have to use the second wish to get rid of the noses. When people get excited they are likely to make mistakes like this; when he threw the dice again, the husband said, “Let these pesky noses be taken off.” At once they were gone, and the noses on their faces went too! Now they were uglier than ever.
Only one wish left. Why not ask to have a fine, well-proportioned nose on each face? Ah, but now some sense was dawning upon them: people would see the new noses and ask them about how they got them. They would have to explain and people would call them fools and make more fun of them all the more for wasting their three wishes.
So husband and wife threw the dice again asking for their own original noses to be put back on. This left them right where they were before.