Gambling Hansel is another story involving St. Peter and I’m not happy about it. I’m getting tired of St. Peter poking his nose in everyone’s business.
Once upon a time there was a man who did nothing but gamble, so everyone called him Gambling Hansel. He lost everything, even his house. The day before creditors were about to take his house way, St. Peter and the Lord came for a visit. They asked Hansel if they could stay for the night. He said it was ok if they stayed for the night, but he didn’t have any food to give them. They said that was ok and gave him some money, three groschen, and told him to go to the baker’s and buy some bread.
Well, on the way the urge to gamble struck him and Hansel ended up gambling away the money St. Peter had given him to buy food. He went back to St. Peter and the Lord, empty-handed, and pretended that the money had fallen in the gutter. The Lord knew where the money had went, but St. Peter paid out money again and, this time, Hansel actually bought bread with it. The Lord asks if there is any wine and Hansel says that there isn’t. Everything has been taken by creditors, but the Lord insists that there is wine in the cellar. After a bit, Hansel gets tired of arguing with God and goes to the cellar to check. He is astonished to find wine there.
The Lord and St. Peter stayed the night and in the morning, Hansel asked three favors of the two. He asked for a deck of cards that would never lose, a pair of dice that would never lose, and a tree whereupon every type of fruit grew and that no one could descend until he bade them do so. He was given these things.
Hansel started gambling right away. It wasn’t long before he had won half the world. God and St. Peter got to talking and figured that if Hansel owned everything in the entire world, it wouldn’t be good. They decided to send death after him. Death finds Hansel, but Hansel is in the middle of some gambling. He tells death to wait a while and that he should climb up in that tree and gather some fruit. Death wanted to climb down again, but because of the nature of the tree, he could only climb down with Hansel’s permission. Hansel made death stay in the tree seven years.
St. Peter and the Lord became antsy because no one was dying after seven years. They decided they were going to have to make Hansel let death go. They went to Hansel and commanded him to let Death out of the tree. Hansel did so and was immediately rewarded by being killed by death. Hansel went straight away to the after life. At heaven, no one wanted Hansel. They told him to go away. Hansel then tried purgatory. No one wanted him there either. Hansel went to hell, where no one was home but Lucifer and his crooked devils, all of the straight ones were out causing havoc.
Hansel immediately began gambling with the devil. The devil had nothing to lose besides his crooked devils, so he played. He soon lost all of his crooked devils, which Hansel took away and made a hop-pole. The hop-pole was so tall it reached heaven and Hansel tried to break in. St. Peter and the Lord were afraid that Hansel would break heaven if he kept on with his pole, so they let him in. Well, that was a mistake because as soon as he got in, he started right up gambling again. Heaven became really loud and rambunctious. St. Peter told the Lord that they must get rid of Hansel before he caused all of heaven to be rebellious. So they threw Hansel out and his soul broke into many pieces. The fragments of Hansel’s soul went into all the gambling vagabonds of the Earth.
Gambling can be an addiction. Who gives someone, addicted to gambling, gambling items by which they would never lose? That sounds like a terrible idea.
What is a hop-pole? Well, www.thefreedictionary.com says a hop-pole is, “an upright consisting of a piece of timber or metal fixed firmly in an upright position.” So basically, it’s a tall pole. Well, that was a stupid answer. One of the possible definitions of this pole is that you would train the hop plant to grow on it. The hop plant is used to make beer. Guess what…it’s in the family Cannabaceae, which means your beer is related to your marijuana. Who would have thought it? It makes sense though.
Couldn’t St. Peter and the Lord have found somewhere better to pass the night? Hansel’s house was obviously not a good idea.
I am reminded of the War in Heaven when reading this tale. I’ve mentioned it before when writing on this website. The war in heaven is a belief of some Christian religions. The belief is that before the Earth was ever created, there was a war in heaven. Lucifer and his angels were cast out upon the Earth, because they lost the war. That is how Lucifer comes to be the devil instead of “the son of the morning,” which was his title beforehand.
In this story, Hansel is cast out of heaven. He riles people up. That is the same thing Lucifer supposedly did. He riled people up with his ideas and behavior, because of this rebellion, a lot of souls were lost to Satan. The Lord and St. Peter threw Hansel out of heaven so he would cause the least amount of damage possible to the people of heaven.
What is a crooked devil versus a straight devil?
Stingy Jack tricks the devil into going up a tree just as Hansel tricks death into going up into a tree. These stories probably both diverged from a similar point.
Gambling is a thing here. Actually, addiction is a thing here. Gambling can be an addiction. The people of two to three hundred years ago, were no strangers to the idea of addictions. To me, the feeling is that addictions are more of this modern-day problem, but they’re not. People have always had addictions; it’s part of our human nature. It probably didn’t seem like addictions were that big of a deal back in the day because people didn’t live as long anyway, so you couldn’t pick out the people who died from an addiction over the people who died of normal ailments. Generally, when we speak of an addiction, we speak of something that could very well kill you. Gambling does seem one of the lesser addictions in comparison, but usually the mafia kills you instead when you have so much gambling debt. Terrible joke? Maybe.
You’re not supposed to feed an addiction. If you have someone who has an addiction, you don’t enable that addiction. You want them to stop their addiction. If you know someone who is a crack addict, you do not buy them crack for their birthday. These days people have all kinds of addictions. I have watched that show My Strange Addiction, and, yes, it is strange. It doesn’t matter what kind of addiction it is, you don’t give people items to enable it. St. Peter and the Lord gave Hansel items to further his addiction and just look what happened.
I would say that St. Peter and the Lord need to find better people to hang out with, but I’m reminded of the instance in the Bible where Jesus rebukes someone for saying that Jesus should hang out with classier people, so I can’t say that St. Peter and the Lord need to hang out with better people.