A villager was once riding past a cave in a mountain at the precise moment when it made one of its rare magical appearances to all who wished to enrich themselves from its treasures.
He marched into the cave and found whole mountains of jewels and precious stones that he hurriedly stuffed into the saddlebags of his mule, for he knew the legend according to which the cave would be open for only a very limited period of time so its treasures had to be taken in haste.
The donkey was fully loaded and he set off rejoicing at his good fortune, when he suddenly remembered he had left his stick in the cave. He turned back and rushed into the cave.
But the time for the cave to disappear had arrived and so he disappeared with it and was never seen again.
After waiting for him a year or two, the villagers sold the treasure they found on the donkey and became the beneficiaries of the unfortunate man’s good luck.
This is from The Heart of the Enlightened, a book of spiritual stories by Anthony de Mello.