There was a woodcutter who worked day and night.
At last he grew tired and said, “I don’t want to do this anymore. I will cut one last load of firewood and then look for the bones of our father Adam, who brought all this pain and trouble upon us, and burn them up.”
At that instant, God sent an angel to him. The angel asked him what he was doing, and the woodcutter told the angel what he had in mind.
The angel said, “What if someone frees you from all this work?”
The woodcutter replied, “Then I would forgive Adam.”
The angel said, “Then I will transport you to a garden where you will never have to work, but you must promise that no matter what you see there, you will not utter a single word.”
The woodcutter agreed, and the angel clapped her hands together. In a flash, the woodcutter found himself in a beautiful garden filled with tall trees, clear streams, and lots of delicious fruit. After a while, the woodcutter saw a man cutting wood. He was cutting the live branches from the trees and leaving the dead ones.
The woodcutter could not restrain himself from saying, “Mister, don’t you know that you should cut the dead branches and leave the live ones?”
The next instant the woodcutter was back near his village with his axe, and he began to wail and beat his breast in anguish.
Once again the angel appeared before him. The woodcutter said: “I promise I will not say a word if you let me go back”. So the angel clapped her hands and the woodcutter was back in the heavenly garden.
After a while, the woodcutter saw a gazelle running through the garden and an old man hobbling after it. Without thinking, the woodcutter shouted, “That gazelle is swift and you are old. You will never suceed catching it!”
The next instant, the woodcutter was back at his woodpile. Again he wailed and moaned, and once more the angel returned.
“Please have pity on me,” said the woodcutter, “If you give me one more chance, may I be cursed if I speak again.”
The angel agreed, and in an instant the woodcutter was back in the heavenly garden. The woodcutter remained silent for three days, but then he saw four men struggling to move the millstone of an oil press. They would all lift the millstone on one side and it would topple over onto the other side. Then they would move to the other side and repeat the same process. The woodcutter lost his controle and shouted: “Men, if you want to carry that millstone, you should lift it from all sides!”
And the next instant the woodcutter was back at his woodpile. The woodcutter wailed and wailed, and once more the angel appeared in front of him. The woodcutter begged and pleaded to return to the heavenly garden, but the angel said, “Your father Adam only sinned once. You have committed sin upon sin upon sin, so your place shall be here among the firewood until the end of your days.”
The woodcutter placed the blame on Adam, but when he was given the opportunity to live a better life, he was made to realize how easy it is to sin.