A rich man I once knew became poor, and when he was poor, he and his wife had a little boy. Since nobody was willing to stand as a godfather for the child, the man set off to look for one in a neighboring village. On the way he met me, standing by the road. I asked him where he was going, and when he told me he was looking for a godfather for his boy, I said, “You’re poor and I’m poor. So I might as well be the godfather.” I reminded him that I wouldn’t be able to give the child anything, and then I asked him to go back home and tell the midwife to bring the child to the church.
I named the boy “Faithful Ferdinand.” I didn’t give anything to the father, and I didn’t ask for anything in return. I did, however, give something to the midwife. I gave her a key to give to the father to keep until the boy was fourteen. Then he was to ride out to a heath where he would find a castle to which he alone had the key.