Foreman: Ironsmith! Ironsmith anyone? I can shoe your five mules!
Woman: Hey, you one-eyed man, how much will you charge to fix
a barn door, huh?
Man: Lemme fix it first, then we talk about the fee.
Woman: No, tell me how much you charge first.
Man: Look, Madame Frissy, just let me do it and I can do it
for free. Letís go!
Every morning, people looking for work gathered in front of the synagogue
in Capernaum Square. Even before sunrise, some of them were already
there, sitting on the steps or leaning against the wall, displaying
their tools: the bricklayers with their small shovel and plane, the
carpenters with their hammers, and the farmers with their calloused
Daniel: Hey guys, why donít you work in my vineyard? Thereís
so much to harvest!..... Yeah, all of you!.... A dinar at the end of
the day! Címon, hurry, and take advantage of the dayís yield!
A group of men stood up and followed Daniel... Everyday, Jesus also
roamed around the square, with his nails and shovel, hoping to find
Neighbor: Hey, Moreno, you look sleepy...!
Jesus: I came late yesterday, so I didnít get any work... Letís
see if Iím lucky today.
Neighbor: The early bird catches the worm. Look, just before you
came, Daniel was hiring some men for his vineyeard. Itís harvest time
and the harvest seems good.
Jesus: How much is he gonna pay them?
Neighbor: A dinar, as always. A dinar each and Daniel means it.
When he says heíll pay, he does it. Daniel is okay. He can be trusted.
Foreman: A bricklayer, for two-days work. I need a bricklayer
to work for two days.
Jesus: Hey, Iím your man..... Shall we go?
Foreman: Letís go! You receive one dinar today and another tomorrow.
Jesus: Alright! See you, Simeon!
Neighbor: Goodbye, Jesus! I told you, the early bird catches the
Neighbor: The Morenoís lucky. Heís hired at once.
Nato: You bet. Iíve been coming here for three days, but nothing.
This is not the time for shearing the sheep, damn! Everyday I sharpen
my shearing knife, but what for... One day Iíll end up cutting my head
off with it.
Neighbor: Is that whatís bugging you?
Nato: Iím just sick and tired of doing the same thing: everyday
I come home bringing nothing for my starving children... ďItís only
this piece of bread for today, son. Tomorrow... tomorrow, thereíll be
more.Ē Tomorrow comes, and itís the same as today!
Neighbor: Times are hard, Nato, very hard...
Nato: Iím not coming home without a single dinar. I canít bear
to see my children starving to death. Really, I canít!
At nine oíclock in the morning of the same day, Daniel came back to
the squareí when the sunís warm rays had spread all over the square....
Daniel: Hey, guys!... I need more men to work in my vineyard...
Neighbor: Letís go, Nato. This is a sure job. Your children will
surely have something to eat with the money youíll bring home...
Nato: Letís go, Simeon!
Simeon, Nato and a few more, went to Danielís vineyard. Soon, the square
was again filled with men looking for jobs... At this moment, the children
were playing and jostling each other all over the area:
Boy: Iím an ironsmith! Do you need horseshoes for your mules?
Man: Iím the mule!
Laborer: Iím a mule too, son...
Titus: Why do you say that?
Laborer: Because thatís what I am... a mule... no more, no less.
Youíre no less than a mule too. And so are the rest. Weíre all mules
here and the only thing we havenít got is the tail.
Titus: Címon, there you go again.
Laborer: But itís the truth. I think we were born simply to engage
in back-breaking work. Day in and day out, we do the same thing! Doesnít
this get on your nerves, Titus, huh?
Titus: What can we do, man? Is there anything we can do?
Laborer: Nothing!... It mustíve been written some place... that
the poor like us came into this world to do hard work and have lots
of children whoíll follow in our footsteps: thatís right, to continue
doing hard work and with empty bellies... Look at these children...
Theyíll take our place here, when theyíre grown-up, expecting to work,
like mules, in order to live...
Wife: Thereís nothing yet, Samuel?
Samuel: Nothing, woman. Thereís nothing yet.
Wife: What shall we eat now?
Samuel: A piece of boiled stone, perhaps!
Woman: A little alms for the blind... Have pity on this poor
Wife: Old woman, I havenít seen you around the square for sometime...!
Woman: Oh, child, look at my skin. Those who see me say that
my skin has become more yellow than an egg yolk.
Wife: But... what happened?
Woman: Iím dying, child, of an illness thatís sapping my life.
Look at me... blind, lame... and now, this!
Wife: Oh, Grandma, I dunno what to say!
Woman: Child, you donít have to say anything... really, if I
could only write all about my misfortunes, I would come up with a book
longer than Mosesí!
Wife: Well, you should thank the Lord for having made you blind.
At least youíre spared of seeing ugly things around here... What the
hell! If only the waters from the Lake of Galilee dried up, we would
fill it up again with our tears!
Daniel: Hey guys, whatís wrong with you?... Hurry up and donít
waste time!... Come with me to my vineyard, for thereís much work to
be done! Letís go!...
A group of men stood up and went with Daniel to his vineyard... At three
oíclock in the afternoon, as the sunís rays penetrated through the walls
of the square, several men remained squatting on the steps, still waiting
for a chance to be hired for a job...
Samuel: I was told that Daniel is hiring half of the entire Capernaum
to work in his vineyard... I hope heíll come around again...
Laborer: His grapes
are ready for harvest. Otherwise, the rains will destroy them...
Samuel: Thatís nice! First you harvest them, then you bring them
to the grape press, and have them fermented in the vats... for.... yeah...
what for, anyway?
Laborer: What do you mean, what for?.... so we can have a good
shot of wine to wet our throats, dammit! Isnít that enough?
Samuel: Just enough to wash out blues away. But after that, when
the wine has come down from our heads, life goes on the same... bah!
Laborer: And what do you want, man?
Samuel: What do I want?....
Laborer: Yeah, you... what do you want...?
Samuel: I... just want to be happy, thatís all.
At three oíclock in the afternoon, Daniel was back looking for more
workers in his vineyard. There were men still waiting, as always, with
crossed arms, and heads looking down at the ground....
Daniel: Hey, whatíre you doing here yawning and idling time away?
I need men to work in my vineyard!... Anyone coming with me?... Thereís
still a couple of hours to work! Letís go, letís go!
At five oíclock in the afternoon, Daniel went back to the square...
Daniel: Good Lord, there are still some of you looking at the
Samuel: Thereís no one to hire us. So, here we are, waiting for
our luck to change...
Daniel: No luck will ever befall you here. Why donít you come
with me to my vineyard? After all, the sun hasnít set yet!
When the moonís silhouette shone over Danielís vineyard, and darkness
was beginning to envelop the place...
Daniel: Guys, itís time for you to stop working...! You may now
collect your dues! Come, come, so that I can pay you!
So Daniel called for his foreman:
Daniel: Cyrus, pay each one a dinar. See you another time, fellows!
Man: Just a minute, Daniel. How much did you say you were
going to pay us?
Daniel: One dinar for each one. Anything wrong?
Nato: Itís just that.... these four men just came an hour ago,
while there are some of us here who have been working the whole day
under the heat of the sun and...
Daniel: And so? Didnít I hire all of you for one dinar a day?
Man: Yeah, but itís unfair to pay us the same amount that
youíll pay those who came last...
Daniel: Oh, really? And why is that?
Nato: Well, because... because...
Daniel: Youíve got children, havenít you? And you need money
to feed them. Thatís why Iím paying you your dinar. This fellow who
came last has got children too, and needs a dinar to feed them. Whereís
the injustice there? Each one did what he could.
Man: But we worked
longer on your farm!
Daniel: Or better, they waited longer than you did in the square...
You canít complain, my friend. Tomorrow, when youíre the last one to
come, youíll be happy to receive one whole dinar. Everybody needs a
dinar in order to live.
Salome: My friend and neighbor, Leah, told that today her husband
and some men have been working in Danielís vineyard... You know something,
Jesus? Some were hired early in the morning...
Jesus: Yeah, I was there when Daniel came.
John: Hey, the Moreno woke up early, isnít that a miracle!
Salome: Then, at nine oíclock he went back and took more men
along. He did the same at twelve oíclock and at three oíclock. They
say he was still looking for men as late as five oíclock, to work in
his vineyard... But this rascal gave everyone one dinar each. Everybody
received the same amount, do you understand? Whether he came early or
worked for only an hour....
John: Heís always like that... He says that everybody needs
something in order to have something to eat.... And everyone gets paid
the same amount...
Salome: This Daniel is a crazy landlord!
Jesus: Why do you say that, Salome?.... On the contrary, heís
the best landlord here in Capernaum. Díya know what I think? When God
hires workers in this world, he does the same as Daniel.
John: I donít get you....
Jesus: Just as Daniel said. We need a dinar in order to live.
A dinar of bread. And a dinar of hope, too. All of us are seated in
the square, hoping to be happy.
Salome: Of course, thatís what all of us want, but...
Jesus: But we become green with envy when some of us get up
from here ahead of us... even if sooner or later, our turn will also
come. Similarly, God will do as Daniel has done: Heíll see to it that
we are rightfully paid our salary: Everyone receives equal share, which
is the best form of justice... Yeah, Iím certain that at the end, when
the square is finally empty, we shall get the same dinar, enjoy the
same happiness that we have long been waiting for.....
The lights in the fishermenís village were slowly fading away, leaving
the streets and the whole square empty and dark... Capernaum, tired
and weary, went into a deep sleep, in anticipation of the light of a