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Short Stories (Stories for the Youth), book by Father Tadros Yacoub Malaty

348- An Old Man Sets his House on Fire(2)


In June 1896, while a Japanese grand father was sitting on the porch of his house with his 10-year-old grandson, suddenly an earthquake shook the mountain. However, his house and neighbors houses were not hurt since they were built to be quake proof.

The old man noticed that the seawater was rising, stretching for miles. From his experience, he realized that the seawater will overcome the village and will cover it entirely. He looked at the people of the village who were looking at the sea, not knowing what was going to happen. Image: Fire صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: النار، نيران Image: Fire.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: النار، نيران.

The grandfather asked his grandson to get him a torch. With the torch, the old man set fire in the wood on top of his house. The child shouted for help thinking that his grandfather had lost his mind.

 When the villagers saw the fire they got up where the fire wasand the fire alarm was ringing which was heard from a distance.

The young people came and tried to put off the fire but the old man prevented them and said, I want every one in the village to come here.

They were all astonished, wondering what was wrong with the old man. They asked the grandson, What went wrong with your grandfather? He said, Maybe he became crazy, I saw him starting the fire.

The grandfather said, Yes, I started the fire because I want to see every body here.

As all the people of the village arrived, the tide was so strong that it wiped out the village.

At that time the villagers knew that this old man did not think about himself but he cared about the safety of the people of his village.

→ English translation of the story here at شيخ يشعل نارًا في بيته! Divider

Lord, you see what I can not see.

You did not burn down a physical house, but You gave Your body to death.

You drew me towards You, so the water of the pit can not overcome me.

You, my Savior, are miraculous in Your love.

People thought that Your cross is foolishness and a stumbling block.

You were accused of failure and weakness.

While, You with Your love offered me Your Cross which is the power of salvation.


Footnotes and references for this page here at

(2) C.F. El-Bostan magazine, St. Mark Church, Washington, August 1988.