Pátio do Prior: a Jewish Folktale
Look down... Keep looking down. How old are these grounds? Whose footsteps are those? By the time of the Portuguese Discoveries, Alfama was populated by a number of Jewish families, with their markets, stores, synagogues. Yet Biblical Archaeologists believe that Jewish presence dates back to King Solomon's time.
Well it is said that once the great King Solomon was flying high above the world in his great magic carpet: "I am the greatest of all kings!"
"King Solomon is not that great"
What? He looked down and he saw that the words had been spoken by a little tiny ant. King Solomon flew with his carpet down to the earth, found the little ant, bent down, he picked it up and looked at the creature eye to eye.
"Who is greater than I?"
"I am greater than you because the greatest king in the world stopped when he heard me speak, he lowered himself to the earth, and he bent down in front of me. He raised me up so we were the same height, and he asked me a question I could answer and he could not. "
And King Solomon... agreed.
*Based on "Solomon and the Ant and Other Jewish Stories", retold by Sheldon Oberman.