"How Much Land Does A Man Need?"


Pahom is a poor man who proclaims to himself that if he had enough land he would not even fear the Devil. The Devil, of course, hears this and decides to give him land without him knowing. Pahom took the chance for land, and loved it at first. But then he became tired and wanted more. As the story went on, he bought more and more land, and grew tired, and moved and bought even more. Finally he came to the Bashkirs, a family with a huge amount of land. They tell him that, if he pays, he can have all the land he likes, provided he can walk the perimeter of it before sunset. He walked very far out, and as he was heading back around he realized that the sun was setting. He ran as hard as he could, but the running was too much, and just as he reached the destination he died from overexertion. And so how much does a man need? Six feet from his feet to his head, says Tolstoy!


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