20 SEC READING: the boy and the devil

The boy was walking to buy bread when the mayor of the city crossed the street.

‘The reason he is so powerful, is because, he’s made a pact with the devil,’ a very devout woman in the street told the boy.

Some time later, when travelling to another town, the boy saw a beautiful corn field. He asked who the owner was.
‘All this land belongs to the same man. I’d say the Devil had a hand in that.’ – answered one of the villagers.

At this very moment, a beautiful woman walked past the boy. A priest also saw her and said aloud:
‘That woman is in the services of Satan!’

From then on, the boy decided to seek the Devil out. One day he managed to see him face to face.

‘They say you can make people powerful, rich, and beautiful.’

‘To be totally honest, this is not true’ replied the Devil.
‘You have just been listening to the views of those who are trying to promote me.’


  1. Ivette says:

    You are just amazing Paolo. I love your readings.

  2. reginaF says:

    Dear, Sir Paulo.

    Actually I adore all of stories that written and made by you. The Boy and The Devil is one of the story that I like the most. Let your hands do write some more interesting story and always be the great Paulo Coelho.

    Regards from Indonesia :)

  3. Hideki says:

    the boy, in our times, is not just a boy. the boy can be anyone.

  4. Belkis says:

    En mi opinion, la historia promueve al diablo porque era capaz de proveer riqueza, poder y belleza; en otras palabras todo lo que creemos el mismo Dios tambien provee. El diablo es solo el malo de la pelicula con corazon generoso!

  5. Bogdan S. says:

    The other people are actually the power and fundamental basis of what makes the image of another person. That’s the moral

  6. diane says:

    very interesting….las apariencias engañan…

  7. FOUZ MOUSSA says:

    A muchas personas les encanta poner muchos pretextos sobre el porque no avanzan, y en cuanto ven a alguien prospero son muy dadas a atacar y decir que es deshonesta la forma en que consiguió salir adelante.
    Pura envidia maliciosa

  8. titika says:

    i love your philosophy…. it is all about love and future;)

  9. FOUZ MOUSSA says:

    La envidia es el veneno mas grande en este planeta
    y la gente envidiosa es peor que el mismo diablo
    maravilloso escrito Paul.

  10. Arto Hutto says:

    In Swedish:

    20 SEKUNDERS Lí„SNING: pojken och djävulen

    Pojken var på väg för att köpa bröd när stadens borgmästare korsade gatan.

    “Anledningen till att han är så mäktig, är att han har ingått en pakt med djävulen,” sa en mycket gudfruktig kvinna på gatan till pojken.

    En tid senare när han reste till en annan stad, såg pojken ett vackert majsfält. Han frågade vem ägaren var.
    “Allt detta land tillhör samma man. Jag skulle säga att djävulen haft ett finger med i detta. “- svarade en av byborna.

    Just i det ögonblicket, gick en vacker kvinna förbi pojken. En präst såg henne också och sa högt: “Den kvinnan är i Satans tjänst!”

    Från och med då bestämde sig pojken för att leta upp Djävulen. En dag lyckades han träffa honom, ansikte mot ansikte.

    “De säger att du kan göra människor mäktiga, rika och vackra.”

    “För att vara helt ärlig, är detta inte sant”, svarade Djävulen.
    “Du har bara lyssnat på synpunkter från dem som försöker marknadsföra mig.

    I original postad här: http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2012/02/06/the-boy-and-the-devil/
    Paulo Coelho på svenska: http://www.facebook.com/PauloCoelhoSverige
    í–versättning: oLaVie (kommentera gärna)

  11. Annie Besant says:

    Inspired by you my Dear Mr.Coelho I dare to leave a piece of my own 30 sec reading:

    ‘The Queen is bitter,’ the King whispered into his minister’s ears. ‘I cannot live with her.’

    ‘How can that be?’ the minister whispered back, afraid that their whispers would drift like dandelion silk to the queen’s ears.

    Her sweat was bitter water when he sipped it. The milk that burst from her breasts when he suckled was bitter sap. When he buried himself inside her dark warmth, his cock puckered up from the taste of her bitter fluids. Her skin was not the satin smoothness of a woman’s skin; it was brown and grainy like the dirt his silk slippers trod on. He had tasted her tears once; it was soft and ripe with bitterness.

    ‘I cannot live with her,’ the King insisted. ‘She makes the air that I breathe turn bitter.’

    The minister sighed. He dearly loved the queen. ‘Is there nothing that you love about her, your highness?’ he begged.

    The King thought.

    ‘We don’t love the bitterness in our life,’ he said after a while. ‘We bear with it for a while, hoping for sweetness to reveal itself.’

    The minister nodded. He understood.

    He went to the queen and stood before her, head bowed, tears shivering on the edge of his eyelashes.

    The queen understood. She followed him silently into the garden.

    The slaves dug a grave. She had wanted to be buried standing, so it was a long shaft that led into the dampness of the earth.

    They threw the last handful of dirt before the sun set, and left weeping.

    A year later, a fragile leaf pushed its head out of the silent grave. It grew into a neem tree that is forever bitter.

    1. Suraj Uprety says:

      great story….neem is bitter, but it has a lot of medicinal values and one of the most precious and sacred plants.

  12. Empié says:

    Lo mejor para combatir a los diablillos que hay sueltos por el mundo buscando alguna victima a la que hincar sus dientes y así­ saciar su complejo de inferioridad, es ignorarlos. Hay cosas mucho más importantes y bonitas en la vida con las que ocupar el tiempo. Una vez fuera de su reino, no te pueden alcanzar, la victoria es tuya, su mal se vuelve contra ellos y son ellos los que son devorados por el mundo que han intentado poner en tu contra.

    Un saludo, y los últimos serán los primeros y los primeros los últimos, jajajaja…

  13. Cristina B says:

    I agree, but there’s no doubt that the devil helps in the matters fo Earth, and has no power in the matters of Heaven.
    Success or money may be the reward the gives the devil ore may be an honest conquest.
    It depends on how these fruits are used: to do something bad or something good.
    Tha’s why, before receiving our sword, me must know how to use it.
    That’s our choice for ourselves, and that’s the Measure to judge the others.

  14. Suraj Uprety says:

    There’s a Devil inside all of us, and it’s name is jealousy. There’s a God between each of us, and it’s name is Love. Rest is Bullshit!

  15. Psalmbody says:

    Loving how your 20 seconds yield a lifetime of good news! So important to know when, what to bless or curse and that the Creator is the only exception. P(e)ace.

  16. Maria says:

    Boa! Excelente reflexí£o.

    Bjos e dia abení§oado qrido

  17. Naveli says:

    Dear Paulo,
    i stay in India and i work for a club in my college that helps the slum children to get basic education. We also visit orphanages to help them. I would love if you visit us once. We will be really honored to have you and would love if you share your experience with us. A kind request…

    Love Naveli

  18. Manish says:

    once upon a time a man approached a holy man the saint sitting under a tree and asked what is essence of life he asked?

    “its tree”..saint
    “but tree is contained in seed”..said the man
    “then tree is inside the tree”..saint
    “how can?..man
    “as the knowledge is within you but you look at others for it look deep within and you will always find… God within yourself..”..saint

    man was at peace

  19. Thulasi menon says:

    There is devil, since without doubt there is God. Where there is evil there will definitly be goodness too. or we can state it the other way. for the goodness to activitate there should be evil. Just like to ignite fire is necessary. But always goodness or God wins. Evil powers are shortlived. for quick success if anybody depend on satan and make money, attain power and become beautiful it will not last long. s Hindu dharma says. everything in this earth is destroyable except The God almighty.

  20. Vinz says:

    The winner stands alone …

  21. soyong,kim says:

    It’s so true. People hear what they want to hear from others.

  22. Chetan says:

    Good story with meaning…,devil is nothing but negative thoughts that dwells within us

  23. Elia says:

    nice story! it exposes the real hypocrites!

  24. Yamilka Feliz says:

    la biblia cuenta como llego el maligno a tierra. Además narra como engaño a Eva, presentandosele como serpiente, quitandole el regalo que Dios le habia hecho. Luego es Jesús quien nos redime. Sin embargo, yo creo que salvo esta y otras escasas ocasiones, la biblia dedica tiempo al desterrado. Ciertamente, donde mas habla sobre el, es para especificar que no tiene poder en nosotros. Que fue vencido por Jesus en la cruz. Que no vale la pena invertir nuestro tiempo, pensamientos, o atención de ningun tipo en ese revelde desobediente. Sino, que todo nuestro pensamiento debe siempre dirigirse a lo alto, a la grandeza, sabiduria, grandiosidas de nuestro Padre Todopoderoso. LLenar nuestra mente de pensamiento a nuestro Dios misericordioso que nos ama sobre todas las cosas. Cultivar el terreno fertil que es nuestra mente con su palabra. Posar nuestra mirada en el Altisimo. Cultivar un lenguaje que le lleve a ser Grande a El, y no darle tanto credito a quien no lo tiene.

  25. Aziz says:

    That’s the truth. Thanks.

  26. Michele says:

    The Paradise or The Hell?…The Hell thank you,..less boring !

  27. coolguy1609 says:

    Another one often promoted when something good happens is “Oh hell” whereas we should actually be saying “Oh heaven”


  28. Rebecca says:

    I do not believe in the devil. Everything just IS.

  29. jossjr says:

    yo creo que el diablo no tiene nada que ver…..somos nosotros los que inventamos la idea de el diablo haciendo cosas por alguien para tapar nuestra propia avaricia, rencor y envidia…. en cierta manera el diablo…somos nosotros…

  30. jackienoriega says:


  31. Christina says:

    No matter what we call it (satan, money etc.) People are spending way too much time on envying what others could achieve (or just get by being born with it) instead of spending this energy, more efficiently on trying to reach the same, or other goals. (I always thought that if you see someone who has something you’ve always wanted why don’t you study the way him/her reached it and do the same instead of complaining.) I’m sort of a lazy person but in these matters it turned out to be a lucky thing: I’m too lazy to be jealous (in fact I don’t even know how does it feel), I rather keep this energy to achieve my own goals and remain happy for those who could have already done so.

    1. Suraj Uprety says:

      Christina, even I am so lazy that I never get jealous and never mind people’s business etc…………..guess it’s a blessing!

    2. shubhendu says:

      thats really vry well said..instead of looking at our own bread we are most of the time intrested in knowing what others are having..being jealous n saracastic is somehow damaging d root f dis society..n we coin all dis jealousy n all with these terms..

  32. Marcelo Costa says:

    It’s a very interesting history, Paulo!! The devil knows his limit, unfortunately, some people thinks he’s more powerful than us… he lies under our feet. DON’T YOU FORGET THIS…

  33. Wolfgang says:

    I think it’s interesting that the only one who isn’t lying is the Devil himself. Also, it’s superstitious people that make it hard for religion. I know that religion and superstition go hand in hand with a lot of people’s views, but in my opinion, the superstitious are those people who know nothing about the religion they proffess to be faithful in. Anyone who truly comes to know their God would never do the things that these “religious” people did. The God I know doesn’t teach blind prejudice. The woman who said the mayor was powerful because of the Devil was just being spiteful. Whoever said that the rich man who owned the fields was jealous. The priest who claimed the beautiful woman to be of the Devil is a bastard. Too often women are disrespected because of how they look. Whether beautiful or not, they are the target of constant abuse.

  34. Esta lectura del niño y el diablo en los pueblos es el pan nuestro de cada dí­a. El único resumen que yo saco es que la gente que vive de la envidia siempre sacará una conclusión errónea, atacante y defensiva a la vez. Y lo mas básico que buscamos para esos casos son los que nos inculcaron hasta la actualidad nuestros antecesores. Personalizamos una envidia y la promovemos sin medidas. ” Pensar que cuanto mas maduros somos, mas inmaduros nos volvemos”. “Y cuando somos niños somos mas analistas y simplicistas que cuando somos adultos”.

  35. Bira says:

    Love it! We always make excuses about people’s success coz we didn’t succeed like them. We use the ‘devil’ as the scapegoat. Some people are more gifted to become entreprenuers, models etc. GOD is the ultimate power coz he created the devil.

    Way to go Paulo :)

  36. El Burro de Caín says:

    Nosotros les damos el poder a las cosas.

  37. Kay says:

    Fantastic view!! Thank you for 1000 times for this story!

  38. Sarah Canlas says:

    Some people doesn’t realize that what’s running in their mind and coming out of their mouth is the devil.

  39. han says:

    amazing!!! :-)

  40. alicia says:

    que buena esta esta corta historia , gracias por regalarnos estos bellos mensajes , eres el mejor escritor , que conozco .Gracias

  41. Lucina says:

    Todo lo bueno,lo hermoso,la abundancia viene de Dios….incluso el mismo diablo reconoce la grandeza de Dios…Dios los bendiga y colme de bendiciones..saludos

  42. Frank Tower says:

    Well , the devil is just an ilussion created by religions in order to control weak human minds .

    1. lotta Hagerstad says:

      In my opinion, atheists are so afraid of satan because they know he´s for real. That´s why they choose to not believe and to go ahead with the theory with evolution.

    2. Kawal says:

      Dude, You are missing the point here!

  43. rita ruiz sanchez says:

    I really love it!! It is the way you discovered what you can do or could do accorrding to others… Es descubrir que eres tan poderoso como los otros creen de ti!! muchas gracias!!!

  44. Dina says:

    This is so true. God is muuuuch more powerful than the Devil! xx

  45. Jessica says:

    It should be sane …. not sain ;-) a correction !!!

  46. Jessica says:

    It takes a fool to remain sain ….
    A fool cant differ between god or the devil …. or can he or ??

    Well makes me dizzy thinking of it … well we can say we are all humans anyway :-)

  47. criststar11 says:

    The devil can only carry shadows, it is his matter, he will always try to show you his way to disturn you of your true way. One day I was meeting a guy called “Lucifer”, obviously it was not his true name, but he wanted all people to call him like that… He wanted to read my future telling me that he could put me on the right way… so I answered:
    “-How can I trust somebody who tells me that his name is Lucifer? The way is the way… there is only one way, there is the LIGHT, the Universe. What is your name? Satan? Or devil? Ah no…. Lucifer ahahahahahah… (I could only laugh, because the situation was becoming completely unreal…)
    -No I´m Lucifer, no Satan, but Lucifer, you that´s my name… and you what are you? Are you surrounded by angels on this kind of “cuty” stuff??? Small little angels?
    – Indeed in this precise moment, there are two angels beside me. I´m happy for you that you feel so important… but I don´t think I will need your services. As I think that I´m really on the right way. Have a very nice day!!!! ”
    This kind of “demon” who looked like Andy Wharrol was on a corner on the street, one hour later, when I turned back at the same place, he simply disapeared. He was not there anymore. Pure illusion. Nothing is bigger than the LIGHT. NOTHING IS BIGGER THAN THE WILL OF THE LORD. Sending you light Paulo, Cris

    1. criststar11 says:

      Pray for me Paulo. For Him. For us. I need this now. Can I recieve this gift for the all Tradition. All the people to pray the roses of my mother? Thank you with all my heart. I still believe in miracles as Her heart id the first one showing us the way in this world. Infinite Light to the all, Cris

    2. Paulo Coelho says:

      Just prayed. May Our Lady of the Mistical Rose protect you

  48. yalem says:

    Interesting story ! even the devil knows his limits. but we are promoting as if he is super !

  49. anne says:

    This is a good short story. I hope I can also write as you.

  50. meann says:

    hahhahaha….the devil is too honest to answer the little boy…that he is not responsible to those wonderful things.
    Those people are just envy….