There once came a poor Chasid to the famous and distinguished Rabbi Dovid’l Talner, complaining about his ill state of affairs, saying:
“O, Rabbi, pray for me; I have a wife and ten children, and only one room to dwell in; it is unbearable!” “Have you a goat?” inquired the Rabbi, gravely.
“Yes,” answered the Chasid in astonishment.
“Then,” said the Rabbi, “take it into your house.”
The Chasid did so, but a few days later came back to the Rabbi crying that conditions were still worse, as now he had no place whereon to lay his head. But the Rabbi did not seem to be affected by his appeal, and said:
“Have you chickens?”
“Take them also into your house,” he said; and, although with a great deal of wonderment, the Chasid did so, -for who would dare disobey the holy and beloved Rabbi?
After a few days the Chasid returned again, his lamentation this time raised to a great pitch. “Rabbi, Rabbi,” exclaimed he; “for pity’s sake, I cannot stand it any longer! It is beyond human endurance!”
“Well, drive out the goat and the chickens,” said the Rabbi.
A few days later the Chasid returned with joyful reports.
“Holy Rabbi,” said he, “we are so comfortable now; may the Lord prolong your days! You have saved my wife, my children and myself!”
Rab Dovid’l, well pleased to see his stratagem a success, said to his Meshamesh:
“People never know when they are well off until they find out how much worse things might be!”
We Are Comfortable Now -from “As ‘Twas Told to Me“, by Rabbi S.M. Neches, 1926 CE.