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Although there is a saying that money has no smell, there is a story which links the value of the two most admirably via the aroma of a meal. (Original source of the following detail unknown).

A beggar was walking through a forest and he came across a man cooking a meal over a camp fire. The man saw the beggar enjoying the aroma of his food and promptly charged him six pence (6d) in old English money. The beggar had no money to give and in his own defence stated that he had simply enjoyed the aroma of the food but had not eaten it.

In order to resolve the dispute a passer-by was asked to intervene and settle the matter.

This third person gave the beggar a sixpenny piece and told him to throw it into a cup which was beside the camp fire. This unknown wise man then asked the man who was cooking the meal did you hear that? - meaning the sound of the coin falling into the cup. The man replied that he did.

The passer-by then told the beggar to take the sixpence out of the cup and keep it. He then said to the other man, you have been paid in kind - the sound of his money for the smell of your meal.

Note: There is a more tangible link between money and food these days when we can buy chocolate in the shape of coins, and now Ecus.

Compiled by Hazel A. Speed

A Distinctive Aroma by Hazel Speed
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